Box Step Americana



he has her in the honey hot jazz of domestic land
mines, in the glaze of evening light in their empty


apartment where they find themselves dancing. she
is all maritime blues, a remnant of her childhood in


the belly of her father’s south summer drawl, plucked

and mild like the white heart of a strawberry. holding


hands, chapped from the antique cold, he breaks away
to light a cigarette. once he read they were eight dollars


in canada, but five in these united states. the american
dream is a cheaper way to die. she waits for him as


he flicks the scraped paper flame, red at the corner
of his mouth. their windows are open, damp street


light squares yellow on her skirt, an aching gleam
that halos her over like some kind of saint in rationed


cotton. he takes her waist, round in a time after corsets
as the two of them sway to the call of close brass in


the warm gold of radio waves, a waltz so clean and so
smooth that it ribbons over their shoulders like a baptism.




EMMA CAMP is a sophomore at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, AL, and is in the creative writing department. Her work has been featured in Canvas, Cadence, TeenInk and Girlspring. She is also the recipient of a National Gold Medal in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She is a clinical Shakespeare buff who enjoys community theatre in her small amount of free time, and dreams of one day directing a production of Romeo & Juliet performed entirely by cats.