Emily Dickinson Glances at My Texts

Today she died. 
The portrait depicts her as
well-coiffed, wearing black,
and hair parted
in the way my mother would term
"severe."

In truth (not death)
she preferred white.
She preferred her room.
She preferred
short lines,
spaces,
dashes.
Atmosphere.
Room.

Sitting next to her
my neck bares no choker.
My hair is parted as severely.
My mother asks me to look
more feminine.
I see you have purpose and meaning
and legacy and eternity
without faith.

I am trying on my Emily today,
wearing a poetic legacy
without dogma,
keeping my hair masculine and parted,
singing mournful hashtags
to my reluctant muse.

Our poems entwine,
Emily's and mine,
the dead interior space
once occupied
by hope and a wish.


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Mindy Goorchenko's poetry has appeared in The Beloit Poetry Journal, ¡ZamBomba!, and Coracle. She has received the Wendy Norrins Prize, numerous press awards, and an honorable mention in the 2017 Alaska Statewide Poetry Competition. She is excited to share that her first collection of poetry, The Latent Talent of Conception, was published on September 1st. More details can be found on her website at www.MindyGoorchenko.com or Facebook.