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


Hand Me Down

Cards we played on our honeymoon are still in the pink
suitcase you were too masculine to carry out to the black
trunk of taxi. We thought things don’t change when you leave
home. There, taxis are yellow too. I left the cards you bought,

forgotten by you, in the suitcase you won’t open or touch.
I kept them there, spread out, code-like, as if summoning spirits
to see what we were made of. They are sprawled amongst
slight sand and salt, a bikini I never wore, a toothbrush I bought
the day of the wedding, thinking married, bride teeth must feel

different. I saved them spread out so that when our someday
daughter unearths the suitcase for her class trip
to somewhere foreign, the cards with pictures of half-naked
women will spill out, scatter her young ankles.

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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