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

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Last Spring in Dublin

There were fireflies embroidered
on the woolen lapels of your winter coat
For luck, you said, though three of the buttons fell off
that last spring in Dublin.

Lost among the cobblestones, your buttons
disappeared, so you bought new ones, too shiny.
I stitched them onto the smoke infused wool
& hoped you wouldn’t notice my carelessness.

As you crawled into the tent, outside, glowworms emerged
from nowhere, drawn to your flashlight.
It was too cold for camping, damp & wet,
& I felt too American, shivering in the sleeping bag,
wishing for sunshine & fireflies tagging each other in the dark.

I had almost forgotten about your lost buttons,
but sometimes, when I zip up the mosquito net
to let the night breeze in, I fall into a dream
of warm winter coats in the Irish springtime,
your missing buttons borne back to me
on the faint beating of insect wings.

This selection comes from Allie Marini’s 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 theNonBinary 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, andCrab 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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