The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: READY FOR THE WORLD by Becca Klaver

Spell for Protection

I walk alone on dark streets

I walk alone on dark streets all the time

am I not supposed to do that

anymore yet again still


feels like winter tonight

from my corner window I can see the armory turrets

it’s a men’s shelter

my sister says

for murderers and rapists without families
who got out

but they’re still in

she runs a clinic on the other side of town


what are you afraid of and

what does that say about you

say about yourself:

I’m not afraid

I’m not afraid

I’m not afraid


all the men surprised to learn

how it is

what street do they live on

not ours

the night cracks in half

you float on your piece

I on mine

to take whichever way home


for protection I was given

many varieties of stone

so far I have not gotten

much more hurt

This selection comes from the book, READY FOR THE WORLD, available from Black Lawrence Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Kelly Lorraine Andrews.

Becca Klaver is a writer, teacher, editor, scholar, and literary collaboration conjurer. She is the author of the poetry collections LA Liminal (Kore Press, 2010), Empire Wasted (Bloof Books, 2016), and Ready for the World (Black Lawrence Press, 2020), as well as several chapbooks. A founding editor of Switchback Books, she is currently co-editing, with Arielle Greenberg, the digital poetry anthology Electric Gurlesque. Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, she is the Robert P. Dana Director of the Center for the Literary Arts at Cornell College and lives in Iowa City.

Kelly Lorraine Andrews is an assistant managing editor for the American Economic Association and an MFA graduate from the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of the chapbooks Sonnets in Which the Speaker Is on Display (Stranded Oak Press, forthcoming 2019), The Fear Archives (Two of Cups Press, 2017), My Body Is a Poem I Can’t Stop Writing (Porkbelly Press, 2017), I Want To Eat So Many Kinds of Cake With You and Mule Skinner (both out from Dancing Girl Press). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in [PANK], Prick of the Spindle, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. You can read more about her past and future publications and look at a slideshow of her cats at her website.


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