The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Sonya Vatomsky’s “My Heart in Aspic”


My heart in aspic

Some thoughts, they have
a knack for overstaying. The dinner is done,
crumbs swept up, stains blotted
liqueurs brought out and drunk dry
but you won’t look at the door, and I?
Who am I to tell you to go
when I keep resentment like a fugitive
warm & nourished in a spare room?
We do our best, or we don’t.
We gnawed the cold universe to the rib,
left white bones strewn about
the tablecloth; killed flies. One, then two.
A witch can only be burned so many times before she thinks, hmm,
something has got to change here. I’ve been soup
that charred black to the pot, I’ve made the mistake of listening
when I should have cursed
I salted for flavor and not against ghosts
I am Russian; I ate
cold tongue before I knew how to kiss.

This selection comes from Sonya Vatomsky’s chapbook My Heart in Aspic, available now from Porkbelly Press. Purchase your copy here!

Sonya Vatomsky is a Moscow-born, Seattle-raised feminist poetess ghost. She is the author of Salt is for Curing (Sator Press, fall 2015) and chapbook My Heart in Aspic (Porkbelly Press), and is a poetry editor at Fruita Pulp. Find her by saying her name five times in front of a bathroom mirror or at

Ben McClendon is a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Tennessee. He previously studied poetry at Northern Arizona University after teaching high school English for several years. His poems have appeared in Indiana Review, Yemassee, Chautauqua, Redivider, Rattle, Word Riot, and elsewhere. Ben lives with his husband in Knoxville.


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