The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Angela Narciso Torres’s “Blood Orange”

Angela Torres Pic


My mother looks for signs
on the morning of my departure.
Everything means something

else, she assures me when
I topple a juice glass,
calling it good fortune

when crystal shatters.
When I lose the coral
earrings she gave me

she blesses heaven—
Better that than your life.
So when she hears the flight’s

been delayed—burnt fuse—
she’s exultant, convinced
the gods have foiled some evil

design on my safety.
It delights her when
I call her from the gate

to say I’ve spilled
coffee on my favorite
sweater and yes, the weather

in Denver is fine. Mother
of contradictions, believer
in science and angels, for you

I’d stoop for the wayward pin,
avoid each sidewalk crack,
comb a field of wild clover—

to find you a balm for letting go.

This selection comes from Angela Narciso Torres’s book Blood Orange, available from Aquarius Press. Purchase your copy here!

Angela Narciso Torres’s first book of poetry, Blood Orange, won the Willow Books Literature Award for Poetry and was published by Willow Books/Aquarius Press in September 2013. Recent work appears in Cimarron Review, Colorado Review, and Cream City Review. A graduate of Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Angela has received fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, Ragdale Foundation, and Midwest Writing Center. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Manila, she currently resides in Chicago, where she teaches poetry workshops and serves as a senior poetry editor for RHINO.

Donna Vorreyer is the author of A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as six chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish from Redbird Chapbooks forthcoming in April. She is an assistant poetry editor for Extract(s), and her second collection is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in 2016.


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