The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Jenny Sadre-Orafai’s “Paper, Cotton, Leather”

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Brocade in the Water Garden

Their hooked lips are sewn
with the thinnest skins.
The mouths open and wait.

It seemed wrong to take
the picture. You were too close.
It seemed like a cheap move.

I stood over them. My reflection
off their slimy orange, wanting
their heads to sink.

I would say I saw before you
the stippled mouths move
toward the lens and shudder.

This selection comes from Jenny Sadre-Orafai’s poetry book Paper, Cotton, Leather, available from Press 53! Purchase your copy here!

Jenny Sadre-Orafai is the author of PaperCottonLeather and four chapbooks. Recent poetry has appeared in Redivider, Eleven Eleven, Thrush Poetry Journal, PANK, Rhino, Sixth Finch, ILK, iO: A Journal of New American Poetry, and Poemeleon. Recent prose has appeared in The Rumpus, The Toast, and Delirious Hem. She is co-founding editor of Josephine Quarterly and an Associate Professor of English at Kennesaw State University.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

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