Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Book VI from The Queerness of Eve

by Emilia Phillips

My brain expanded
like yeast dough
proofing in a covered
bowl. I began
on my hands
and knees, but soon
slouched like a willow.
Eventually, my spine
was as straight
as the definition
narrow. And God shook out
the pterodactyl
like a wet umbrella.
Inside out, it became
the mute swan—
I didn’t dare feed it
crumbs from my open
palm, but I watched
it double-s over
the wellspring pond,
and this was the first
moment
I realized there could be
more than one
of anything, the swan
and anti-swan
in symmetry,
imperfect only
for the ripples
glassing away
from its body.
God made man
in his own image,
so they say.
So I made a beloved
in mine.

Copyright © 2021 by Emilia Phillips. Originally published in Copper Nickel, Fall 2021.

Emilia Phillips is the author of four books of poetry, including Embouchure (University of Akron Press, 2021). They teach in the MFA in Writing Program at UNC Greensboro.

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this second year of our series is the first movement, Schéhérazade, from Masques, Op. 34, by Karol Szymanowski, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission