The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Denise Miller’s “Core”

Denise Miller PicPhoto credit: Freshwater Photography

Foreman’s Visit

It’s not the last time he’ll pocket his hand to pat my
shine. He strokes my skin, eager like he’s makin’
sho I’m still there in the same secret way his Saturday
woman’s fingers feel for the familiar rough of linen
folded line-fine as chisel edge in my money pocket.

I have been rocked by his up and down of hip since
he started standin’ the line and know that when he
holds my sweat stained skin, he is really holdin’
his anger. See, I know I am the armor
that keeps him from takin’ off his own skin.


This selection comes from Denise Miller’s book Core, available now from Willow Books. Purchase your copy here!

Denise Miller is a poet and mixed media artist whose work reflects conscious survival for herself and for individuals living in an “ism” driven culture. Her poetry and art are practices that merge activism, spirituality and craft that draws from and re-shapes cultural currents. Currently, Miller is working on a collection of poems that identify and interrogate the ways that people live out how the body evolves in the absence of peace, how the body navigates when the fiduciary/fixed points are sound and violence, and what people reflect or sound back in its presence.

Her publications include poems in Dunes Review, African American Review and Blackberry: A Magazine . She’s the 2015 Willow Books Emerging Poet, an AROHO Waves Discussion Fellowship awardee, a finalist for the Barbara Deming Money for Women Fund, and a Hedgebrook Fellow. Her newest book, Core, released from Willow Books in November 2015 has been nominated for a 2016 American Book Award and a 2016 Pushcart Prize. Additionally, one of her poems from a collection in progress has also been nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. More of her work can be found at

librecht baker. Dembrebrah West African Drum and Dance Ensemble member. Kouman Kele Dance and Drum Ensemble memeber. MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. VONA/Voices & Lambda Literary Fellow. Sundress Publications’ Assistant Editor. Poetry in Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices & CHORUS: A Literary Mixtape. Currently, birthing & manifesting.


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