I forget the Czech for “stamp” in the post office and start making up words instead
the number of times you must
say any name out loud
to make a spell of the sounds: reporacle
msytory: a measure of how much any myth
borrows from truth
the promise the bridge sells
you in return for massaging
its arched and aching back: susstrict
circumtheft: stealing something only to find
you can’t use it; see also:
the space the rain takes as it falls
Women in Széchenyi Bathhouse
Easter 2012, Budapest
Steam, like a savior, rises over water.
Laying in the blue, older women bathe.
Heads back, necks golden and open,
flowered caps clasped over tufts of lilaced
hair. Unabashed about the fetal pleasure
of skin to water. Full-figured bodies
the poets compare to landscapes
because they cannot imagine women
as other than thing. These women teach
me more about living in skin than my own
body ever has. We will all be so withered
and filled once the water has finished us.
Emily Paige Wilson is an MFA candidate and graduate teaching assistant at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her poetry, translations, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Asymptote, Green Mountains Review, PANK, and The Raleigh Review, among others. She rules her life like a fine skylark and tweets @Emmy_Golightly.