The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Wishbone Dress by Cassandra J. Bruner

THE ANTLERED DOE

A man doused in roebuck piss says
I saw it as I skinned its thighs
& laughs.

Your death always a joke, the shock
of womb, a punchline.
Darting through

underbrush, your hooves
resounded like cackling children.
This velvet crown, not always a betrayal—

In rutting season, the tongues
of stags & doe alike climbed
your hind leg, crying
I opened for my beloved but she was gone.

Now is the hour of moths
& the body remade as
a sack of buckshot.

A child bundles you in sweat-stale
flannel, lifting you onto the truck bed
like a distant sister. Nestled

against your snout, he mouths
a wish for recognition, for his budding breasts
to hide themselves away like fawns.


This selection comes from the book, The Wishbone Dres, available from Bull City Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark.

Cassandra J. Bruner‘s The Wishbone Dress was the 2019 winner of the Frost Place Chapbook Competition.  She earned her MFA in poetry from Eastern Washington University where she served as Managing Editor of Willow Springs Books. Finalist for Black Warrior Review‘s 2018 Nonfiction Contest, their poems and essays have appeared, or are upcoming in The Adroit JournalBlack Warrior ReviewCrazyhorseMuzzleNew England ReviewNinth Letter, and Pleiades among others.

Sarah Clark is Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly, Co-Editor of 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’s edited folios for publications, including Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms, Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, First Peoples, Plural. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations.

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