The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Blood Box by Zefyr Lisowski

Ingredients for an Axe Girl

Insert girl.
Insert wet.
Insert family hurt axe hand.
Insert locks.
Make a box—kindness, hunger, etcetera.
Insert pear tree, juice dripping over the chin.
(Increase hunger. Increase doors.)

Insert tooth insert tooth insert tooth
She is lonely, and covered with blood.
Her flesh her body taut with thirties.
She is older.
Increase wealth. Increase grief.
I am not trying to build sympathy
but empty beds terrify me,
a thing howling and encrusted
outside the window. House like a coffin.
Decrease distance.

The summer heating like a firing chamber—
tender appearing in spurts as evaporated milk.
Questions appear:
Do you know the throng of cut, of bird?
Do you know this weight toward becoming?
What to do with all this unfurling—

Insert box, insert hand, insert blood box

This selection comes from the book, Blood Box, available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark .

Zefyr Lisowski is a trans & queer Southerner, the author of Blood Box (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and a Pisces. She’s a poetry co-editor at Apogee Journal and has received support from Tin House Writers Workshop, Sundress Academy for the Arts, The CUNY Graduate Center, and elsewhere. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Muzzle, DIAGRAM, Literary Hub, Nat. Brut., and the Texas Review, among other places. She’s currently working on Wolf Inventory, a collaborative film about ghost stories, ritual, and feminized sexual violence in the South, with filmmaker and artist Candace Thompson. Find her and more of her work online at
Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly (, Co-Editor of the Bettering American Poetry series ( and The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2021), a reader at The Atlas Review and Doubleback Books, and an Editorial Board member at Sundress Press. She curated Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio ( and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms (, edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant]“, on place and meaning, and is a former Executive Board member at VIDA. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations.
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