Published on Academy of American Poets (


Though I didn’t know how to begin or believe, I held in
myself expectation. Awareness. A palpable fit. Every garden

a window through which I petalled off hopes. There was nothing

so alarming as a sky. Who knew if an elegance walked invisible
beside me or on stolen feet. Or if all elegance is the act of being

invisible after all. If after all the spirit is indivisible from the body.

Or a glamor slit from this spilt sack of skin. I have never had
nor been enough. Every sundress is an ache. What a pink

unpleasantness, the idea of touch. An earth let loose and loss

the only record of its revolutions, its unguarded roots. A sky
rinsing from itself the pointless trash of spring.


Copyright © 2017 by Emma Bolden. “Hysterectomy/Recovery” originally appeared in TriQuarterly. Used with permission of the author.



Emma Bolden

Emma Bolden is the author of three poetry collections, House Is an Enigma (Southeast Missouri State University Press, 2018), winner of the 2017 Cowles Poetry Book Prize; medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press, 2016); and Maleficae (GenPop Books, 2013). Bolden is the recipient of a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, among other honors, and serves as the associate editor-in-chief at Tupelo Quarterly. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

Date Published: 2018-04-17

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