Emily O’Neill

Rosary For The Blood Moon


when the night rusts into its fifth season

of shredded skin


when the sky is a wine spigot

and my mouth, open


when the current slows in the wrong place

and the water is rigid as rope


when the ground is soft to the touch, giving

like skin under heat


when I beg for blooming cherry trees preserved

just as they were the month I vanished


when he says he saw a mare on Sunday

and she was good as my ghost


when we break the mirrors

and eat the glass


when tangerines drop from their branches

into our open, empty hands


when we are our own children, and theirs too,

all generations blessed with sweet rot


when we have lost nothing except

what’s been given away


in the name of my father, the sun,

and the spirit of what waiting







I Remember Loving You Through The Internet


it was always a race to see who could be clever

faster & when it was you

I felt hot


(embarrassed /

red as a Maraschino

cherry / but also peeled open

by unseen sun)


eyes grainy from screen glow & isn’t it funny

how I hated when you said it

better or quicker


(how we met

again as two

magazine pages kissing



& somehow my accent came back when you echoed

the turnpike lodged under my tongue)

I’ll wear a red dress to your funeral


& miss you like I’m made of tin,

wet / rusting, east / a cousin

of what you wish for when

the sun is a fist in your eye


sleep, sleep / the leg shake of cawfee & motha

gram eating raw hamburger with salt

nobody dies from being wrong






I send you a picture of my 16 oz can of Sapporo

with the caption it’s noodle time / about to be one happy panda

the soup arrives; I squeeze lime into the rising steam


watch the steak lose its blush, suddenly closer to human

the first bite is too hot / the first bite scalds my tongue but

I shovel more into my mouth


because blister is a foregone conclusion

& I am hungry, starved even, pretending you are pho


because you thaw my bones better than anything

remember, I was the idiot walking through snow

in a suede coat & bare legs


I told you I did not want any love again for a long time

but you were drunk, which is to say blessedly deaf,

& I helped you fight my too-tight dress past my thighs


today it’s so cold that I left the house

in 3 shirts, 2 sweaters, & 2 pairs of pants


under this drift of clothes I’m naked, waiting for a pause in conversation

so I can say as much /// I am blue now, scald, and suede,

& hungry, growing a tail, am a chemist’s accident / see


how I roil & quake even this far from a flame /// you never

meant to kiss me on the mouth but I couldn’t be sure of that

so I did it / I did it & I am gladder than

a gong on a game show

when the contestant runs out of seconds to flounder


you say you have your gown for our wedding: 1000 marks from my teeth

on your bare winter skin / I am purple with jealousy

at what you’re eating for dinner tonight




Emily O’Neill is a writer, artist, and proud Jersey girl. Her recent poems and stories can be found in Muzzle Magazine, Paper Darts, Sugar House Review, and Whiskey Island, among others. Her debut collection is forthcoming from Yes Yes Books in 2014. You can pick her brain at http://emily-oneill.com