Emmalea Russo


I went after him—the sixteen blocks
to the restaurant’s basement. A pool table,
a cue. He agreed to see me in the alley. In silk
pajama pants and a faux fur coat, I pleaded
with him to forgive me. The shoulders of his black
coat hung off his actual shoulders: If you come one
step closer I’ll punch you in the face and I won’t
think twice about it. And I thought he needed love,
grew up too quickly or not at all and was just sad I told
myself just sad.

He said he would walk to my parents’ house and run through
their woods: this thought of him—running through my childhood,
intact in the circular woods next to the stone of the house
and I said no don’t do that or else I said okay I’ll come with you
but no one walked anywhere. We slept that night in our bed
and he got drunk-sick and as I slid the blanket over him and said
I’m sorry he said it’s okay or he said I love you and I lay down
next to him: This is love.

Emmalea Russo, poet and visual artist, grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania. Since then, she has lived in New York, Los Angeles, and Baton Rouge. Her work has appeared in Anderbo, Bicycle Review, Blood Lotus, The Page, and Yes, Poetry. She is pursuing an MFA in Poetry at Vermont College of Fine Arts and edits the new online journal, em:me magazine. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and online here.
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