The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Allie Marini’s Before Fire: Divorce Poems

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Beveled Glass & Mirror

There are many ways to break glass.
       Hands: the means we are born to. Brute forces of nature.
              Then, there are tools. The methods determine the

Even without hands or hammers, there are hundreds of ways to

I’ve broken glass in here; a silver-backed sheet of mirror:
I’ve laid the shards, shiny as fishscales, in the dustbin.
I’ve swept the floor; even hung a photo to cover the empty spot on
the wall.
Sweaty palms, a reminder:

                                      It is seven years bad luck, this.

Take a look at that wall. Note the number of unlucky years already
behind me.
I’ve hung a photo of you in a rented tux,
me funneled into a dress that didn’t let me breathe
on a wall that strategically faces the sunrise, so light
bounces around the room: an optical illusion
                                          that the space around me is bigger
                                                 than the walls boxing me in.

My barefoot heel finds a splinter of wayward glass.
       Like a filament of fishing wire: tweeze it out.
There’s always a drop of blood shed, tidying up.


This selection comes from Allie Marini Batts’ collection Before Fire: Divorce Poems, available now from ELJ Publications!  Purchase your copy here!

Allie Marini holds degrees from Antioch University of Los Angeles & New College of Florida, meaning she can explain deconstructionism, but cannot perform simple math. Her work has been a finalist for Best of the Net & nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is managing editor for the NonBinary Review, Unbound Octavo, & Zoetic Press, and co-edits for Lucky Bastard Press with her man, performance poet B Deep. She has previously served on the masthead for Lunch Ticket, Spry Literary Journal, The Weekenders Magazine, Mojave River Review & Press, & The Bookshelf Bombshells. Allie is the author of  Unmade & Other Poems (Beautysleep Press), You Might Curse Before You Bless (ELJ Publications) wingless, scorched & beautiful (Imaginary Friend Press), Before Fire (ELJ Publications), This Is How We End (Bitterzoet), Pictures From The Center Of The Universe (Paper Nautilus, winner of the Vella Prize), Cliffdiving (Nomadic Press), And When She Tasted of Knowledge (Nomadic Press), Southern Cryptozoology: A Field Guide To Beasts Of The Southern Wild (Hyacinth Girl Press), Here Comes Hell {dancing girl press}, & Heart Radicals, a collaborative collection with Les Kay, Janeen Pergrin Rastall & Sandra Marchetti (ELJ Publications).  Allie rarely sleeps, and her mother has hypothesized that she is actually a robot fueled by Diet Coke & Sri Racha. She met George R.R. Martin & did not die. Proof of immortality? Not sure, but it does make a compelling argument…Find her on the web: or @kiddeternity.

Erin Elizabeth Smith is the Creative Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and the author of two full-length collections, The Naming of Strays (Gold Wake, 2011) and The Fear of Being Found, which will be re-released from Zoetic Press later this year. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Mid-American, 32 Poems, Zone 3, Gargoyle, Tusculum Review, and Crab Orchard Review. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing and teaches a bit of everything in the English Department at the University of Tennessee. She serves as the managing editor of Sundress Publications and The Wardrobe.


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