The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Amy Ash’s “The Open Mouth of the Vase”

Amy Ash author photo for Cider Press Review


Days when she cannot pull herself away
from the swirl in the sink, the slow growth
of mold in the corners of the tub.
The shower puff in its artificial bloom,
its pink shock of color, mocking.

Still young, age has not yet
cobwebbed her face. She stands there,
in the bathroom, surrounded
by bottles of lotion, serum, nail polish,
untouched. She hasn’t shaved her legs in weeks.
The grass is overgrown. No one has bought the house.

Just last month, he knelt in the doorway
as if proposing or begging forgiveness,
but he was just fixing the lock
on the front door, certain
that he would not change his mind
and want to come in.

She sits up all night, watching the stars brighten
and dim, like faulty light bulbs, and realizes
that he was right, the moon is not for lovers.
Only a cracked fragment of it remains, hanging
ridiculously, like a clipped toenail.

This selection comes from Amy Ash’s collection The Open Mouth of the Vase, available from Cider Press Review. Purchase your copy here!

Amy Ash has an MFA from New Mexico State University and PhD in literature and creative
writing from the University of Kansas. A Pushcart nominee and the recipient of an Academy of
American Poets prize, her work has been published in various journals and anthologies,
including Mid-American Review, Harpur Palate, Salamander, Prick of the Spindle, 100 Word
Story, and The Best of Kore Press 2012. The Open Mouth of the Vase, selected by Charles
Harper Webb for the Cider Press Review Book Award, is her first full-length collection. She
teaches creative writing and literature at Indiana State University.

Melanie Jordan‘s chapbook, Ghost Season, is available from Ropewalk Press; her work has been published in the Iowa Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poetry Southeast, Third Coast, DIAGRAM, Southeast Review, and others. She studied Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before receiving her MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and her doctorate from the University of Houston. She currently teaches Creative Writing, literature, and composition at the University of West Georgia. Her debut collection, Hallelujah for the Ghosties, was published by Sundress in 2015.

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