Two Poems by Emma William-Margaret Rebholz

state of the union

like any good American, I pull my tattoos on each morning
and double knot my neckties. chew chipped paint from the walls.
chant curses for the landlord two cities over. I’ve been working
on a manuscript. it’s a living art piece where I scream my name
into a shoebox until my throat gives out. so far, it’s a hit.
I’m pouring the news out from the bottom of my cereal bowls.
can somebody please turn down the brightness? can someone please
focus the spotlight? I’m mulling over my own syllables again.
if William means protector, is to go by Bill a cowardly act?
I, most certainly, am not Spartacus. turn your attention elsewhere.
retune your channels. if my phone’s really been listening
this whole time then where’s my applause? I’m not in the business
of giving good advice, but blink once if you can hear me.
blink twice if you can’t.


despite my best efforts I remain painfully domestic

what’s new in biology? mostly, I’m doing everything I can to not appear heterosexual. but yes, for the record, I could fit a full Barbie up my vagina if I found the right angle. like a vodka-soaked tampon. like, if I wished hard enough, Barbara would slip into my bloodstream and we could forget about this whole genderqueer thing. I’ve never seen Teeth, but someone somewhere did and thought you know, not a bad way to go. is that problematic? my body’s no powerhouse I just chew on glow sticks and talk a big game. I break things but don’t get sentimental. nobody wants to know how the blizzard feels but the power lines, but I’ve got my tongue on your wrist to check your pulse, just in case.


Emma William-Margaret Rebholz aka Billy is a nonbinary poet living in Boston. Their work has been recently published by or is forthcoming from Sixth Finch, Glass: a journal of poetry, and Gigantic Sequins. They read for the poetry journal Underblong.