A virgin, I carry an empty:
an accumulation of space.
A sign around my neck: the core
of my body is an untouched
baby’s crib.

I incubate something else, a sputtering
leak drips: rainwater hitting the roof
of my mouth. A kerosene pool swells,
overflowing the crib. When I hold
my breath, I hear it sloshing,
lapping, laughing against my walls
like children in a tub, bubbles. I carry
the ocean in me: endless, untouched, dark
blue — never seen a star.
                                                        be mine, unformed
the longing spilled from my gutter
while I was buying complacent conversation,
a silent robbery, it stole from my grip.
My bones ached to disown the secret
wish, ringing in ears,
staining through thoughts. But
a gravitational pull had formed
and my axis tilted, inclined,
towards anyone who could
strike a match near enough
to my mouth. So I shove air down
my throat in case a flame is offered.

All of my breathy spoonfuls are making
my seafloor’s waves wild: restless.
Aquiver, no longer guileless, I linger,
alone except for my gut’s
archive of hologram-daydreams longing
to be punctuated and drowned in substance:
waiting for a light.



Emily Neuharth is an empath, artivist, alien-believer and metaphor-junkie. She is Editor of the literary magazine The Lighter at Valparaiso University. Her poetry has appeared in The Lighter and Tributaries.




By George Franklin / 11/29/2018

Mr. Milfred Morganstone Sends His Regrets

By Susan Baller-Shepard / 12/03/2018

Office Cauldrons

By Paul O'Connor / 11/12/2018

Lint, Dust and Hair

By Gregory Loselle / 12/06/2018


By Stewart Massad / 12/06/2018