The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “Motherlover” by Ginger Ko


“Get the Fuck Out Woodland Creatures, Get the Fuck Out Low-Hanging Fruit”

The back of my tongue has craved bitterness for days.
      I crack into raw potatoes, look for the cigarettes
there, but end up with umami.

I twist myself into lingering trash so your low
      summer waters miss me on the bank.
Help me find my birth family.

I put away the trophy won from pressing the bridge
      of my nose against your neck. For love I do it,
eking bruise-colored ghosts from a glass dropper, I do it.

And speaking never to myself but to you,
      to you, to you. Even in my head, to you.
And the unbearable reverence brought on

by selfhood sniped, dropping straighter
      than the strongest wind. Dive-recalled to earth—
unbearable teeth snap it out of the air.

Its teeth, its teeth, its skeleton-key teeth.
      And before: how we meandered, never quite
as true as when ridiculous.

You left for the mountain angrily—
      you realized you had to shovel the driveway first,
and then you left for the mountains angrily.

This selection comes from Ginger Ko’s poetry collection Motherlover, available now from Bloof Books. Purchase your copy here.

Ginger Ko is the author of Motherlover (Bloof Books), and the chapbooks Inherit (Bloof Books) and Comorbid (Lark Books). Sidebrow will be publishing her second, currently unnamed full collection of poetry. Ginger is currently a PhD student at the University of Georgia’s creative writing program. You can find her online at

Staci R. Schoenfeld is a recipient of 2015 NEA Fellowship for Poetry, grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and residencies from the Ragdale Foundation and Albee Foundation. She is a PhD student at University of South Dakota, assistant editor for poetry at South Dakota Review, and an assistant editor at Sundress Publications. Recent and forthcoming publications include poems in Mid-American Review, Southern Humanities Review, and Room Magazine, fiction in Gingerbread House Literary Magazine, and non-fiction in The Manifest Station.


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