MS Nocturne Without a Magician

Emily Rose Cole


Night of hacksaw wind & tick-fat moon, of dog groan & failed
medication, night I’m filling with letters to the body I can’t sleep in:

Dear body,     get your shit together because if we keep going
to the bathroom this much, we’ll never sleep more than an hour

at a time. Dear body,      let there be another way out of this
than through the chute of a syringe wasping in our thigh.

Tell me that this year is the first half of a magic trick,
the part when the woman’s severed feet

dangle from one box & across the stage her head
simpers from another. Tell me that any minute  

some magician will stroll in to drop a curtain,
waggle his fingers, then—ta-da!—we’ll be made

whole, each chasm in our brain erased.
Dear body,   how do I begin to love you again?

Teach me to stop trying
to resurrect what is already alive.


Emily Rose Cole is a writer and lyricist from Pennsylvania, and the author of a chapbook, “Love and a Loaded Gun,” forthcoming from Minerva Rising Press. She has received awards from Jabberwock Review, Ruminate Magazine, and the Academy of American Poets, and her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Nimrod, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Pinch, and Southern Indiana Review, among others. She holds an MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is currently a PhD student at the University of Cincinnati. You can reach her on Twitter via @EmilyColeWrites or via her website at

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