Three Poems by Emily Hoover

Sitting in the VA Hospital While You Get an MRI


Today a woman
with brown lip liner & peach
lipstick told me the sky is
always overcast
on Good Friday, no matter
what religion you are, or
where you are, as if
spirituality or
place could ever make me feel
whole again. I dream
of charred bodies in Waco.
That’s funny, I said, her ass-
hole-lips still flapping.
It’s raining in my head too.  




Last Rites


The sun cracked open in the sky like an egg
the last time I took the Eucharist.
His mask gifted oxygen the way birds gift food,
the way priests pass down traditions to unholy men.

The very first time I took the Eucharist
he was there too, taking breath for granted. 
The way thieves pass down traditions to unholy men,
I snuck in line for blood-wine, hadn’t been to Mass twice. 

He was there too, taking breath for granted,
nose purple, eyes red, fists weighty graves.
I snuck behind blood & wine, hadn’t been to mass twice
when my mother, no Madonna, was cast out of his house.

Nose purple, eyes red, his last breath weighty graves
as it sucked inward, resembling waves at the shore.
My mother, no Madonna, was cast out of his house;
she still wept at his bedside, his limbs limp like balloons. 




For the Man Who Drinks at the Monte Vista Lounge at 9 AM


Today, the flag at
the fire station is at half-
mast to honor those

who served, fell in
battle, et cetera. In
the mall, stores are closed,

but Taps plays proudly,
as if we mourn the death of

Kids will eat hotdogs
with red, white & blue napkins
that are soft like skin.

Today, I gave a
quarter to a drunk man who
just said Semper Fi.





Emily Hoover has been writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction since the age of 6. She received a BA in English in 2012 and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Northern Arizona University (NAU), teaching English Composition, and working on her novel. Her work has been featured in TheNewerYork Press and The Flagler Review, and much of her poetry and nonfiction has appeared in Flagler College Gargoyle.