Portrait Box



when I met you
I wanted to construct
a concrete cube
with an open top


fill it with clear water
and then tell you, this is how
I think of you


but salt water
but not clear
not concrete


unfired clay
so the salty dark water
will slowly dissolve it

Anthropocene Botanic



Even now, hypnotized
blooms hinge


open like our knees
in unfelt dark.


Hold their width
against space


as day advances, climbing
with its heat


all over everything.
I ask, what is all over


the ground here, that glistens
from beneath


the punctured earth.
You say it is the eyes


of small creatures, aching
for their mates


who could be close. Let
enter your mind the white


clay bank,
the dripping watermelon,


unlaced shoes empty
on the rock.


The sounds of dogs getting after
coyotes at night,


their men on foot behind,
to find, to see into the wet


eyes of, but not even to kill,
how the coyote, cornered,


lies down and looks back,
then looks away.


We have been satisfied plenty,
it isn’t that.

Emelie Griffin comes from the Florida panhandle, and is a poetry candidate in Syracuse University’s MFA program.