The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Kelly Boyker’s “Little Red”

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 5.32.15 PM


Little Red
                (after Mab Graves)

Of course the story begins with a wolf
who carries enchantments stuck in his coat as burrs
and curses he can dispense with his teeth,
ruby collar glittering between the forest snags.

This is what he says to me:
I will not eat you, but if necessary
I promise to make it painless,
a gentle de-boning, the place the mouth goes —
your wet and messy entrails.
You shall float near the tree canopy, ecstatic
as I pull your entire body through my teeth.

My heart is a muscle pendant, swinging,
adorned in an argument of everything
that has gone missing in this thin limb of all
that remains. I ask only that he reconsider

the cone I have placed around his neck,
the way he walks into walls, confused,
the way my bitten-off fingers
can no longer stroke his ruff, and reconsider
the elegance of his need.


“Little Red” appeared in Kelly Boyker’s book, Zoonosis, available from Hyacinth Girl Press. Purchase yours today!

Kelly Boyker’s work has appeared in many places, including, but not limited to, PANK, Prick of the Spindle, Arsenic Lobster, Opium Magazine and FRiGG. Her work has been Pushcart nominated and won the Richard Hugo House Power of Place Annual Inquiry. Recently, she was honored to participate in the Fainting Couch Idioglossia collaborative anthology from Blood Pudding Press. When she is not at her mortgage-paying job she acts as as the poetry editor of Menacing Hedge. She lives in Seattle with four cats, one dog and her wonderful husband, Gio.

This week’s Wardrobe Best Dressed was selected Nicole Oquendo. Nicole Oquendo is an Assistant Editor for Sundress Publications, and the Nonfiction Editor of Best of the Net. Her most recently published essays and poetry can be found in DIAGRAM, fillingStation, Storm Cellar, and Truck.


Leave a Reply