The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Cynthia Marie Hoffman’s “Paper Doll Fetus”

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According to the Doctor in the Blue Gown, a Window

According to the doctor in the blue gown, a window is a part of your body that does not accept the anesthetic. A window is a breach in the peaceful house through which the knives blaze. You lie in the room beside the window where the red curtains flap, looking out, your skin bare. A window is how they drag her away with their hands like five-legged horses stampeding into the distant field. Only the baby goes through the window. You stay here. Close your eyes for a short dream in which you are sleeping, while the curtains are laced shut like an eye encouraged to forget what it has seen. There is a knock at the door. Your baby has arrived. How did she come from there? Look at her now for the first time, bewildered face tangled in her wind-whipped cloak.

This selection comes from Cynthia Marie Hoffman’s book Paper Doll Fetus, available from Persea Books. Purchase your copy here!

Cynthia Marie Hoffman is the author of Paper Doll Fetus and Sightseer, as well as the chapbook Her Human Costume. Hoffman is a former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Director’s Guest at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Wisconsin Arts Board. Her poems have appeared in PleiadesFence, Blackbird,diodeMid-American Review, and elsewhere. She co-edits the online interview series on poetry project books, The Cloudy House ( Visit Cynthia online

Jennifer Hanks is the author of the forthcoming chapbooks Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press) and The Unsteady Planet(Instar Books), a collaboration with illustrator Julie Herndon. Her work has appeared in Arcadia, Ghost Ocean Magazine, Muzzle, Menacing Hedge, PANK, and other journals. She writes an ongoing column, Disorder Reigns, for Arcadia‘s online sundries blog. She is an MFA candidate at the University of New Orleans.


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