The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach’s “The Bear Who Ate the Stars”


Aubade to a Husband

In the church
                     of skin
from which there is
                     no cure
for light or hip-fire
our bodies grow
                     limbs – ghost-like,
they rise and sink:
                     the weight
of a spoon

You’re up stirring
lukewarm, untasted,
white now, and perhaps
                     we’ve had
another fight,
                     another nothing
not to talk about.
                     You’re too
tired again, too empty
                     to move close
in daylight (how to
the feel of flesh?)
                     and I trace
the thought
                    of leaving
in a mesh pattern
                   of sun echoes
                   across your face:
glints fallen
                   from my wedding band –
sun bunnies,
                   I called them
as a child, unlearned then
                   in the art
of skin-prayer.

You haven’t
                   shaved in weeks,
but still the light
                  turns both your cheeks
to stained-glass.

This selection comes from Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach’s chapbook The Bear Who Ate the Stars, available from Split Lip Press. Purchase your copy here!

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated as a Jewish refugee from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine in 1993. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is in the University of Pennsylvania’s Comparative Literature Ph.D. program. Julia’s poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Southern Humanities ReviewGreen Mountains Review, Tupelo QuarterlyGuernica, and Nashville Review, among others journals. Her manuscript, The Bear Who Ate the Stars, won of Split Lip Magazine‘s Uppercut Chapbook Award, and can be purchased from Split Lip Press. Most recently, she won Burlington Book Festival Short Works Writing Contest and Spark: A Creative Anthology’s writing contest. Julia is also the Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine. Find out more by visiting her website.

Jennifer Jackson Berry is the author of the chapbooks When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications) and Nothing But Candy (Liquid Paper Press). Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Booth, The Emerson Review, Harpur Palate, Moon City Review, Stirring, and Whiskey Island, among others. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


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