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



I only dodge a few nightmares.
Most nights, I imitate a stone
with steady breath for six hours.
There are days when my body
dictates a double shift of shut eyes.
I wake, a weekend has passed.
When tears slick my cheeks
I collide with awake too quickly,
soaked pillow and clumped lashes.
At first, I only saw pointed fingers,
his open mouth almost braying.
Gasps shake me into waking.
The last dream was his silence
cradling my rock to questions
thundering in my ears, a pair
of baskets I cannot cover.

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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