The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Emari DiGiorgio

Origami Woman



One sheet, a fleet of pleats,
                                                                            valley-fold the front flap down
to crease a girl into sixteenths.
                                                                            Keep her center stationary,
foot to eyebrow flat. Press lightly.
                                                                            Shapes traced, fingertip print
foil paper, crepe, vellum crane
                                                                            rising sun inverted, all the things
a woman might become.
                                                                            Seamstress, scapegoat, socialite,
sweet, sweet songbird, nun,
                                                                            harlot (only a fold between the two).
Orient her anatomy, then spread
                                                                            open the accordion pleats.
Rabbit-ear her arms and wrap
                                                                            the dress even front to back.
Turn her over now. Crimp
                                                                            her neck. Make six reverse folds
on the skirt. For a hummingbird
                                                                            throat, try the petal tuck.
A lady requires more intricate
                                                                            plaits. Round out to taste.
Push in the nape and squeeze-
                                                                            fold her legs, note crease
her feet, adjust so she stands.




EMARI DIGIORGIO's received a poetry fellowship from the NJ State Council on the Arts and residences from Vermont Studio Center, Sundress, and Rivendell. Her first full-length collection The Things a Body Might Become is forthcoming (ELJ Editions, 2017.) She teaches at Stockton University, is a Dodge Foundation Poet, and hosts World Above in Atlantic City, NJ. 



Previous  |  Next