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  • Sewn into the Age of Light
  • Emilie Menzel (bio)

Sewn into the Age of Light

We drew the sun up each morning from the well and bathedour feet in her lips, sank our shoulders to feel our body arches.Each night our world billowed up like a tent to wrap inward,skyward, slipped off all the knots. And each following morningwe would retether the world to our images, pull the sky downlike a kite, pull her fingers back into our mouths.

Tether the sky at the apple tree, tether the sky at the storm drain.The sky tethered to the laundry. The sky tethered to the hedgerow.And yes the best we could manage was to tuck the images intoplace, not sew them like a stronghold. We practiced with fittedbedsheets.

Sometimes images became mismatched and we were left with oddhappenings. There was the day we slept late and the apple tree fell.There was the day my father's hand snagged in sky fabric, the barnroof flew away, lifted open like a hat. The untethering a processlike a holy renaming—thee frog you are free, thee roseyou are free.

It's not that when images were untethered they disappeared,but their particularity blurred. They became gathered, lightlytangled. Bathed in the wash, the mind could curl aroundtheir leftover light, in a turning, the face, pulled left—

Many animals would appear promptly for their nightly naming.The rabbit as a stone in the field, the deer's eyes as soft quiet in thewoods. And you could feel the untethering at dusk quite naturally,a blurriness settling in, ensembles of images. [End Page 82]

Sometimes the image was a little too darling and we were handeda rough needle: my rabbit's tail unspooled, like an arm, thishumidity. Morning image overlap: the dove as your left shoulder,the okapi as your next kin. Sew our shadows our stockings.Consider her an unsorted whole.

Sewn into the age of light, we were required each morningto reinvent reasons for our existence, to justify our own imaging.If you felt a bit peculiar mid-morning, it was likely your own skin. [End Page 83]

Emilie Menzel

Emilie Menzel's writing has been featured by Black Warrior Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Tupelo Quarterly, amongst others. She is the recipient of the Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award in Poetry (selected by Diana Khoi Nguyen) and the Cara Parravani Memorial Award in Fiction (selected by Leigh Newman). She lives in North Carolina and online at



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pp. 82-83
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