Emily Kingery, “Habitation”

Emily Kingery teaches courses in literature, writing, and linguistics at a small university in Iowa. Her work appears or is forthcoming in multiple journals, most recently Birdcoat Quarterly, CutBank, Quarter After Eight, and Trampoline, and she has been both a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She serves on the Board of Directors at the Midwest Writing Center, a nonprofit organization that supports writers in the Quad Cities community.

orange line


The more you think about it,
there’s nothing to think about. You know
you can live without it.

Order water, lemon wedge. Sit
curled, disguised; the curve will show
the more you think about it.

Starve generously. Quit
coveting. If your limbs bow,
you can live. Without it,

you are less the fetus-pit.
The more you lose, you grow
the more you. Think about it:

you, hollowed comfit,
mother minus mother-glow.
You can. Live without it.

Bite the peel and suck. Spit.
Deny it and you know
you can live without it all
the more. You think about it.





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