By Emily Paige Wilson (Art by Sophie Peters)
I wake up angry and not even
the three vases of kitchen table
sunflowers can say enough
to keep my from feeling
the fatigue of last night’s fight.
At work I sell supplements
to a woman asking which one
will keep her cancer away.
She knows I’m not legally
allowed to tell her a cure exists,
but she still wants to hear it spoken.
She was taught all her life that words
make a thing so, starting with light.
“Please, Jesus, please,” she prays
over my counter. “Ma’am,”
I say, “We do have a return policy.”
I come home to a stranger
raking our lawn. It’s both a favor
and a scam. “Y’all left them leaves
for too long.” I won’t offer him
the tip he’s waiting for. Last night
you said, “Maybe you’ll be a good
mom, but you get so anxious and sad.”
Emily Paige Wilson is the author of I’ll Build Us a Home (Finishing Line Press, 2018). She has received nominations for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and the Pushcart Prize. Her work can be found in The Adroit Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, PANK, and Thrush, among others. She lives in Wilmington, NC, where she received her MFA from UNCW. Visit her website at www.emilypaigewilson.com.
(Artist) Sophie Peters identifies as fluid in both gender and sexuality and this perspective means she is never static in her relations to people and herself. She was born in the USA but grew up predominantly in the UK and is currently based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work centers on motion, emotion and capturing moments of exquisite pain or joy.
Artist's Statement, "Don't Speak", Acrylic and oil on canvas, 19" x 24"
I am influenced by surrealist techniques and abstraction. My works can be absurd but are routed in the daily reality experienced as a queer female writer. I like to use realism in my work in a contrasting manner to selectively depict the aspects of life I believe deserve more recognition (ie couples unseen in the media) or that I believe add poignancy to a piece. Namely, underrepresentation and pain. My work seeks to bring peace and catharsis to observers and to stimulate senses meaningfully.