The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Malak by Jenny Sadre-Orafai

We Can’t Change the Orbits Quite Yet

We have long talks about
what color my blood really is,

how many hearts the octopus can
make breath and still swim with.

I think the Hudson is the river
and not the dog. I want the shoulder

and muscles, the muzzle to be a rounded
wave. We can make it make sense.

Here’s the octopus, eight hearts
beating within each tentacle.

Here’s my open fnger
and my black blood.

Here’s a man walking his pressed shirt
down the rainy street anyway.

Here’s the muscle in his jaw moving
up and down, a seesaw.

Here’s his shoulder pushing
out of your wave and into

a message from my mother
in pictures. She’s past words

now and I hear every thing
she means. The sound

of a small plane in the suburban
sky is my father saying hello.

This selection comes from the collection Malak, available from Platypus Press. Order your copy here. Our curator for December is Tierney Bailey.

Jenny Sadre-Orafai is the author of Paper, Cotton, Leather and Malak. Her poetry has appeared in Cream City Review, Ninth Letter, The Cortland Review, Hotel Amerika, The Pinch, and other journals. Her prose has appeared in Los Angeles Review, The Rumpus, South Loop Review, Fourteen Hills, The Collagist, and other journals. She is co-founding editor of Josephine Quarterly and an Associate Professor of English at Kennesaw State University.

Tierney Bailey is a Libra, a lover of science fiction and poetry, and studies Korean in her spare time. Amongst her pursuits, Tierney is currently the production editor at Redivider Magazine and a copyeditor at Strange Horizons. As a graduate student at Emerson College, Tierney is studying publishing in the Writing and Publishing program. True to her Midwesterner roots, Tierney still smiles upon the slightest bit of eye contact, makes small talk in lines and elevators, and exclaims “ope!” with barely any provocation at all. If you can’t find her on a train somewhere between Providence and Boston, she can easily be found screaming into the void on Twitter as @ergotierney.

Latest posts by sundresspublications (see all)

Leave a Reply