The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Rat Queen by Katie Jean Shinkle

Red Glow of Knowing

Then there’s the retreat,
the slow and.
If how we hurt is connected.
Tell me about your tiara,
emerald beauty, how it shines.
I am proud only in wait,
in tide, in condensation
on your wrist,
the way it snaps
when your hand
hits my backside.
A kind of failure,
you know,
this enlightenment,
this spank.
How even the strongest
do not survive,
but you will.
This red glow of knowing.

This selection comes from the book, Rat Queen, available from Bloof Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Krista Cox.

This is Katie Jean Shinkle’s fifth chapbook. She is an Assistant Professor in the MFA Program for Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing at Sam Houston State University. She is the author of three full-length works, most recently Ruination (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018). Her poetry, prose, and criticisms can be found in Flaunt Magazine, the Georgia Review, Denver Quarterly, New South, the Collagist, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere. She serves as associate fiction editor of ANMLY, co-poetry editor of DIAGRAM.

For money, Krista Cox is a paralegal at an environmental and insurance coverage firm. For joy, she’s an Associate Poetry Editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection and Executive Director of Lit Literary Collective, a nonprofit serving her local literary community. She serves on the board of the Feminist Humanist Alliance. Her poetry has appeared in Columbia JournalCrab Fat MagazineThe Humanist, and elsewhere. Her internet hangout is


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