Somewhere there is a dollhouse just like you
but here you are, a box inside a box. There
on the parlor stool, a ghost with blue teeth
is counting the dance inside our dance—
a bold-school shimmy and a brand new pair
of shoes to wear, our thighs are shaking
a different kind of sound in there. Don’t you
remember the coffee shop, the goldenrod talk
we had? I told you then and I’ll say it now:
life serves itself in resilient little teacups
filled with desire. It’s true, the beauty of a smile
lies in its wild existence, like a canopy of black umbrellas
bobbing through the funeral smoke at night. Dear friend:
let’s promise to never stop connecting all the dots.
Decide that it can never be too cold for stars.
Inside this box there is a promise shaped like a room
however small, where someone will begin.
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 Magazine, The Westchester Review, PANK, 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.