After the National Bulletin

by Emma Bolden

Through a video presentation we were warned of consequences. We were warned of bees. We were a swarm in the lunchroom. We were in line for banana pudding. We took the Jell-O instead. We quivered. We were told to gather our netting. We were made to pose for the cameras. We didn’t speak. There was a sunset painted on the wall. There was a crimson stripe of sky. A sidewalk slipped around the corner and then got out its guns. The flashbulbs popped, bright as violence. Bright as brides. And then instead of eyes we had light. A shudder of stars. An oil spill eloquent in its recitation of tragedy. We were warned. We were a swarm. We were in line for an evening with the weather shitting down its back. We took instead. We quivered. We didn’t speak about airport terminals. We were efficient as any regret.

Emma Bolden’s first full-length collection of poetry, Maleficae, was published by GenPop Books in 2013. Her second full-length collection, medi(t)ations, is forthcoming from Noctuary Press. She is the author of four poetry chapbooks: How to Recognize a Lady, published as part of Edge by Edge, the third in Toadlily Press’ Quartet Series; The Mariner’s Wife, published by Finishing Line Press; The Sad Epistles, published by Dancing Girl Press; and This Is Our Hollywood, published in volume two of The Chapbook.