The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Personal Science by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

Homo narrans (turkey)

A rabbit is lying on the ground beneath a bush, grooming itself. I look again
& next to the rabbit lies a fox. The two appear to be talking. The fox looks over
its shoulder at me, as if to say, or it does say, look, I’m not going to do anything.

Behind us comes a large turkey & as we walk away from the turkey, the turkey
begins to hurry up. The turkey’s pace frightens me. All attempts to shoo the
turkey away are failing, & now the turkey makes like the turkey wants to bite. I
try to push the turkey away again, this time harder, but I worry about hurting
the turkey & I find I cannot harm an animal I do not understand.

Now it seems us or the turkey. I do not know who throws the first stone. I
give him my stone to throw but under the condition he does not throw
it directly at the turkey’s head. I turn my back and walk out of the grove.
What happens next I cannot say.

This selection comes from the collection Personal Science, available from Tupelo Press. Order your copy here. Our curator for November is M. Mack.

In addition to Personal Science (Tupelo Press), Lillian-Yvonne Bertram  is the author of a slice from the cake made of air (Red Hen Press), the chapbook cutthroat glamours (Phantom Books), But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise (Red Hen Press), chosen by Claudia Rankine as winner of the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award, and Grand Dessein, an artist book available from Container. Lillian-Yvonne teaches in the MFA program at UMASS Boston.

M. Mack is a genderqueer poet, editor, and fiber artist in Virginia. Ze is the author of Theater of Parts (Sundress Publications, 2016) and three chapbooks, most recently MINE (Big Lucks Books, forthcoming 2017). Their work has appeared in such places as cream city review, Cloud Rodeo, Rogue Agent, Menacing Hedge, and The Queer South (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014). Mack is a founding co-editor of Gazing Grain Press, an assistant editor for Cider Press Review, and the monster maker behind What Is Reality Plushies. Find them at


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