The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Maureen Alsop’s “Mantic”

Maureen Alsop


The moment your body deserted the soul a last
spasm of air passed through your right
nostril. I will tell you

how it happened. Without
mercy & too
late you had learned that you were made
to be loved. Someone soaked your

nakedness in honey & oiled
your chest with pycnantha. Your head
was shaved. The red dark
room was lit by a single votive, & the draft from hallway
coaxed the flame
to dance. Your voice
rose pointless as no one
could hear you
muttering you still
thought you remembered
and insisted on it. You said I remember stalling
over the wide white bed they say

it is this love. In readiness, the radio
failed. A blueprint of static clamped
over your ears. A gray
heat swarmed your throat. The briefest
face you say from cloud you say. From the deep

north I watched & could
do nothing to help.

This selection comes from Maureen Alsop’s book of poetry Mantic, available from Augury Books. Purchase your copy here!

Maureen Alsop, Ph.D. is the author of several poetry collections including Appartion Wren, Mantic, Later, Knives & Trees, and Mirror Inside Coffin (forthcoming).

Marika von Zellen has a BA in English and Creative Writing from Cornell College (no, not the one in Ithaca). She’s had poetry and fiction published in Open Field, Temporary Infinity, The Grin City Monthly, and the anthology Rock & Roll Saved My Soul. As an Editorial Assistant for Sundress, she’s copy-edited the book Picture Dictionary (2014); as a freelance editor she copy-edited the photography book Face It (2013). In the summer of 2012, she attended the Grin City Collective Artist Residency in Iowa. Besides writing, she enjoys theoretical physics, playing piano, ghost-hunting, climbing trees, and drinking good Czech beer. She’s also a scholar of Lewis Carroll.


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