The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: S.B. Ferguson’s “River Rise”

ferguson author pic


I.      What to Tell Yourself

The cage is empty
but not alone. Do not finish
patching the funnel. Do not
let your limbs stammer.
Do not think
of the wound—red swelling
to black tar, the shock
and trembling, a pain
like scalding that spreads–
this will happen
or will not.
Boot braced
against skull base,
its tail cold, coiling,
use your free hand
to tease the jaw
unhinged, bully it
to clench
around the pliers nose.
Make the flesh-draped
fangs sound against metal.

II.       What to Tell the Snake

Lean closer. Tell her
you are the only monster
in these woods.


This selection comes from S.B. Ferguson’s chapbook River Rise, available now from Yellow Flag Press. Purchase your copy here!

S.B. Ferguson is a Ph.D. Fellow in Poetry at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “River Rise” is her first chapbook.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.


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