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

Homo narrans (transplant)

Now that mine has gone bad I am glad for the new heart that departed
from one body, was held in hands and lowered into the walls of my
sunless cradle never meant to feel air then sealed with a scar I worry
some about the scar, if the sutures are sloppy, if the surgeon will fall asleep
but to protect the new heart from a lymphatic counterattack the surgeon
wraps the heart in a papier-mâché of dollar bills to be washed away by the
currents of blood over the years until just the red heart remains happy to
be alive until I am happy to be awake and alive and so so rich

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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