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

Denise Miller PicPhoto credit: Freshwater Photography

Story Tell Me


that cellophaned tenets turn to heartwood. Story, sell me that this body
is a trunk, sunk deep into its own soil. Convince
my fingerprinted memory that when roots coil skin
that it isn’t the paradoxed end of living. Only
the lip of hope that births bleak into a beginning rinsed
of snake and apple and eve-figged sin.


Story, tell her that love is a mouth, bell shaped and coward-quiet
grioting god into truth—loose as lightning
flying into sunlight. Story, whisper wildly
that tonight love is a verse that eviscerates silence—
a fairytale where the beanstalk is really a tree that rises
in its rooting—right now in her back yard-deep and bark-skin winding.
Story, spell her a tale of tears turned to taproot grown from unbinding—
salted seeds split from the tip of her tongue, growing                  defiant.


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.

Latest posts by sundresspublications (see all)

Leave a Reply