The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Sally Rosen Kindred’s “Book of Asters”

Kindred Pic

Song for an Ocular Migraine

In the beginning, my horizon
was a sad, soft web.
Not a sheet for a ghost, not an onion,

but a skin of thin music
I couldn’t name
until he floated in—

my oracle, my son. Came
at my sky with a silver hook.
Came with his mace at a run—

dark hero who tore my cosmos. He bore
through the scrim
in a flash of lost blood.

Was it his moan or mine
that stripped the leaf from the vein? He gave me
vision: stars’ swarm headed for shore.

He brought me the future:
he brought his sweet thumbs like the bellies of snails.
And then the glass tantrums—

cold fall, my
felled walls, a numb roll
in an ocean of shards.

What didn’t I love of his fury.
His gallop was shining and lonely.
His war-cry bled weeds, bonfire blades.

If I could cheer him on
with a blaze, knives or ice—
my son, my oracle, driving breath into the icons

of light
so I could finally believe.
For a song’s smoke wound

and tender pain
I’d give him
blind love, born from the stem.

This selection comes from Sally Rosen Kindred’s book Book of Asters, available from Mayapple Press. Purchase your copy here!

Sally Rosen Kindred is the author of No Eden (2011) and Book of Asters (2014), poetry books from Mayapple Press, and the chapbook Darling Hands, Darling Tongue (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). She has received two poetry awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Best New Poets 2009, Quarterly West, and on Verse Daily. For more information, please go to

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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