Emily Stokes reads "Love in the Age of Compartmentalization"

Audio Feature

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There’s a better way to do it
but no one’s discovered it yet.

In the meantime, I suggest perusing the more
favorable shelves of your mind’s closet storage

until something snaps and you’re caught
rearranging that mess like a frantic ibid

charging into a bad situation. Or use the morning
to delight your wicked sense of inevitable joy.

(Watching you sip your coffee reminds me
of me sipping my coffee.) It’s still the realest thing

we can say to anyone: admitting pleasure,
which by the way isn’t always code for sex

which by the way isn’t always code for love
or emptiness—the latter of which most humans

do not truly know, at least not in the cosmic sense.
Ah, the physics of forgetting how to drive your own

little spaceship, each day spent running into stuff
you think might finally kill you. You know,

there’s a wonderful place where no one’s ever been
says the radio tucked into the high corner of my

personal compartment. When it gets too loud
I cover it with leaves, keep the matches ready.

It’s almost time for work. The universe echoes
a patient frequency: burning and collapsing,
drifting in ice.

From Flock 20.

Emily Stokes received her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College in 2013 and served as an Artist-in-Residence at the I-Park Foundation during the summer of 2015. Her work has appeared in Nimrod International Journal, Sweet Tree Review, Slice Magazine, The Westchester Review, and [PANK], among others. She currently lives, works, and writes in Philadelphia where her first full-length manuscript is crashing on the couch and looking for a small press to call its home.