The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: a falling knife has no handle by Emily O’Neill


I bought a bottle of rye tonight / some dark
salted chocolate, a plate of linguini / a seat
for three hours after hearing you sigh from Chicago
little lemon tongue floating / could I ever impress you
when you are a perfect last name / when you know
everyone sitting & every rotten part of me
make the bed with us in it always / furnace / you make
me furious / porter risotto at two in the morning / sherry
vinegar / peanut butter / my hand hooked
under your left ear or / what you called the worst part
& the most comforting thing of all / sorting
herb leaves / propping up a thought / could I arrive
in time to catch your suitcases / the correct garnish for
an unexpected delay / as if I’ve known
for years how to carry this

a letter delivered by hand / copper
patina / conducting me towards the wrong sleep
ungated flight / unabated sweetness here
the ice is not enough / I know to pour
too generously / I know
it’s only one or two more days
this waiting / I know how
I am greedy / what work
starving takes

This selection comes from the poetry collection, a falling knife has no handle, available from YesYes Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Tierney Bailey.

Emily O’Neill teaches writing and tends bar in Cambridge, MA. Her second poetry collection, a falling knife has no handle, was released with YesYes Books in fall of 2018 and was one of Publishers Weekly‘s ten most anticipated poetry titles of the season. It was also longlisted for the Julie Suk Award from Jacar Press.  Her debut poetry collection, Pelican, was the inaugural winner of YesYes Books’ Pamet River Prize for women and genderqueer writers, as well as the winner of the 2016 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Series in Poetry. O’Neill is also the author of five chapbooks, most recently You Can’t Pick Your Genre (2nd edition Big Lucks, 2019). Her recent poems, stories, and essays have appeared in The Best Indie Lit New England Anthology, CutbankCatapultRedividerSalt Hill, and Washington Square, among many others. She holds a degree in the synesthesia of storytelling from Hampshire College.
Tierney Bailey is a Libra, a lover of science fiction and poetry, and studies Korean in her spare time. Currently, Tierney is an associate poetry editor at Sundress Publications, a copyeditor at Strange Horizons, and a freelance graphic designer. Tierney earned a Masters Degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. Tierney is most easily found screaming into the void on Twitter as @ergotierney. 

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