Wardrobe Best Dressed: Leigh Anne Hornfeldt’s “The Turnstiles Break and My Husband Is Stuck at Work”

The Turnstiles Break and My Husband Is Stuck at Work

He calls to say he can’t leave
the building. Fire hazard
comes to mind first. 22 years of being
a fireman’s daughter, stories of ash,
smoke, charred two-by-fours. Somewhere
an odontologist is comparing an x-ray
against a set of teeth. Right now
someone is waiting in the dim
counseling room of a hospital,
or for a hesitant phone call, for the vacancy
that bad news brings.

I’ve seen him climb a rickety ladder,
watched him board a plane I didn’t trust.
I’ve held my breath listening
to the pause in his while he slept,
that long catch until he inhales again.
9 years of being a wife.
There are spaces I never want
to inhabit. Fires that can’t be contained.

“The Turnstiles Break and My Husband Is Stuck at Work” appeared in Leigh Anne Hornfeldt’s chapbook, The Intimacy Archive, available from ELJ Publications Purchase your copy today!

Leigh Anne Hornfeldt, a Kentucky native, is the author of East Main Aviary (Flutter Press, 2012) &The Intimacy Archive (ELJ Publications, 2013) and the editor at Two of Cups Press. She is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, as well as the recipient of a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. In 2013 her poem “Laika” placed 2nd in the Argos Prize competition (Dorianne Laux, judge) and in 2012 she received the Kudzu Prize in Poetry. Her work has appeared in journals such as Spry, Lunch Ticket, Foundling Review, and The Journal of Kentucky Studies. 

This week’s Wardrobe Best Dressed was selected by Erin Elizabeth Smith. Smith is the Creative Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and the author of two full-length collections, The Fear of Being Found (Three Candles Press, 2008) and The Naming of Strays (Gold Wake Press, 2011). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Mid-American, 32 Poems, Zone 3, Gargoyle, Tusculum Review, and Crab Orchard Review. She teaches a bit of everything in the English Department at the University of Tennessee and serves as the managing editor of Sundress Publications and Stirring.


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