“You are free through a freedom with its ribs showing”
A good law is one nobody intends to pray over.
Forget once, forget veritas. Love thy sovereignty,
prey over a good low one—get it with your fork
or tuck into a napkin, inhale good and long: the law
is on our side. Of course no self-respecting lawmaker
protects what cannot rightfully be called his-
tory, which is why the best laws are the ones
that can be sliced thinly under a bed of asiago
or tucked neatly beneath a pillow case. The best laws
are the ones we can press beneath our thumbs, say look here
someone’s taken my only horse and she was a beauty. A good law
kills you slowly, politely, and with plenty of time to spare.
A good law cuts your hair just the way you like it
before relaying the bad news, hoisting the shovel.
Emily Stokes received her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College in 2013 and served as an Artist-in-Residence at the I-Park Foundation during the summer of 2015. Her work has appeared in Nimrod International Journal, Sweet Tree Review, Slice Magazine, The Westchester Review, and [PANK], among others. She currently lives, works, and writes in Philadelphia where her first full-length manuscript is crashing on the couch and looking for a small press to call its home.