In Memory of Emzara

The world is ending soon, my love. In two
days’ time, tectonic plates will chatter teeth,
collide, muss up the golden mean, imbue
God’s weariness with fractures underneath
the sinking sea. I want to take an old
approach—dear Noah and his ark, infused
with elements of television: bold
and artificial roses grown, tokens used
to pair off passersby whose urge to pro-
create ensures our race’s breath. Relieve
me, knead me, slip and drag me into co-
existence. Skip the rite, forget to grieve.
Ignore the trembling ground and seizing foam;
I’m waiting in an empty house, alone.

By Fiora Elbers Tibbitts
Fiona is a senior creative writing major at Walnut Hill School for the Arts.

Artwork by David Gordon


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Make Room

I. Unearth

I cut an umbilical cord today. Plastic,
raw, weakly bound to an animal found
buried in my closet. Long ago

in a den, a taxidermist
foraged its seams for loot, wary
of sewing attachment. Thievery

turned to alchemy. I coddled the rabbit
on a leash, buttons to gold. Its belly
swelled with rainwater, bliss, later maggots.

II. Suspend

My bed’s canopy was a canvas. Violent foot paddles
launched a thousand upside-down ships, tufting waves
that fondled buckets of treasure.

Calmer seas invite grief. Pebbles for a game of hopscotch.
I catapult them through spilled milk; the sheet’s cerebral
film engulfs my wishes in three jumps.

III. Retreat

I built a shrine to her garden trestle on my bureau.
She harvests vines, I harvest dead flies. Our symbiosis
feeds off of order in pairs.

We share shut windows. Trapped pests
and leaves clonk the glass: prison inmates
surviving by the ebb of our dinner bell.

By Fiora Elbers-Tibbitts
A senior creative writing major at Walnut Hill School for the Arts.

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Sunday Dinner

The family comes bubble wrapped, prepped to eat over synthetic discourse.
Prayer first. The future’s passed around; patrons pile on the collection
plate. The oven is hot and the timer cheats. Women leap at the beep,
unrehearsed in their assembled domestic burst. Another spring chicken:
underdone meat, dry like chalk. She’ll learn. The men are robust with
compensating promises, raises and grease simmering at the table, lingering
green outside the confession booth. They lurch. A bubble pops and the
curtain drops. Chairs adjust, scrape back singed skin. Faith and heat

Fiora Elbers-Tibbits
A senior creative writing major at Walnut Hill School for the Arts.

Art by Florence Liu

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