Love in the Age of the New Almanac

Emily Stokes


1. Become enamored with geometric houses in the same way one might queen over a distant field of stalagmites.

2. Be full of courtesy, full of craft. 

3. Never refuse to meet your dream-self in the old clearing: these chance happenings can often be quite illuminating.

4. In the face of impending disaster, curse the clouds, the stars.

5. Decide if life is a bad song (always missing a strong second verse) or a rather charming attempt at making something nice. 

6. Little rogues, you are owned by no man.

7. Don’t remove yourself to the powder room to practice coughing up diamonds so they plink against the tiles in the score of Bach’s 9th symphony. 

8. Take ambitious notes on the gendered etymologies of everyday phrases, pinpoint the structures of khaki hegemony.

9. Let thy enemies be faithful, strong, and homely in a far-off situation.

10. Take no advice without proper evaluation. Dogmas and melons are hard to know without sturdy hope and a red rag. 

11. Don’t be alarmed by the occasional feeling that you must usher yourself in from the rain without a roof to show for it. 

12. Build your shelter fearlessly.

13. Speak to the old ghosts of America so that you may explain the situation and lead them politely to the side.



Emily Stokes received her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and currently serves as the Managing Editor for Madcap Review. Her work has appeared in SLICE MagazineThe Westchester ReviewPANK, and the Toadlily Press Quarto Series. 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.

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