Laugh

I do not know you, sister.
You laugh at, not with.
Joke about those who struggle,
now imperfect in your eyes,
mirror who you once were.
You have become them.
The callous hoard of pranksters
who poke and prod the
plus-size people on Earth.
So taken with your new self,
you joined the other side.
You have forgotten the past
and how cruelty felt then.
Keep laughing with your
new sarcasm and hate.
Keep laughing it if makes
you feel triumphant. Go ahead.
Crush another’s heart.

–Victoria Emmons, 2017

Montana Metal

Copper glistens in deference to brilliant sunlight. It wires itself around our lives, brings ease and comfort, a combination of access and heat. Twin to the cook pot, seething atop a blue fire, transmitting a menu plan. Copper art hangs in the window, curled around like a serpent digesting amber glass balls that rearrange light on the wall.

Copper joy, copper light, copper theft for a price. Steal thirst for a century. Crush a society carved in the west out of nothing but a few battles with the locals. Copper makes friends. And enemies. A golden glow requires a good polish now and then. The favored color of an old mascot hat for the football team.

Dig. Mine. Discover. Bend. Shape. Create. A bottle of copper hair upon my head brings attention no matter what. Metal required to fend off compliments or long gazes with dangling open mouths. She is copper-colored, they say. Good or bad. Friend or foe. Better to be copper-colored than steel gray.

–Victoria Emmons, 2017