The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “Break the Habit” by Tara Betts



You wanted the secrets splayed on the floor,
dissected, so you could tell the whisperers
and prodders you were there. You could use
someone’s pain as a platform, be an authority
on speculation, not an authority, but an inflation,
hot air barely suspended. What you don’t realize
is secrets can be killed or released into the wild
never to be witnessed again. Once I set them free,
you are a thin-skinned balloon, and I, am hatpin.

This selection comes from the collection Break the Habit, available from Trio House Press. Order your copy here. Our curator for September is Donna Vorreyer.

Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit (Trio House Press, 2016) and Arc & Hue (Willow Books, 2009).  Tara is also one of the co-editors of The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives About Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century (2Leaf Press, 2017). Her work has appeared in POETRYAmerican Poetry ReviewEssenceNYLON, and numerous anthologies. She teaches at University of Illinois-Chicago.

Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as seven chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish from Redbird Chapbooks. She is the reviews editor for Stirring: A Literary Collection, and she works as a middle school teacher in the Chicago suburbs.

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