The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Studies of Familiar Birds by Carrie Green

Portrait of Genevieve as a Young Woman

The photograph once pleased Virginia:
the way the light catches in Genevieve’s eyes
and burnishes her curls to amber,
how it blanches the stain of her rosacea
to marble. The gold rosette earrings
widen her slim cheeks.
Genevieve made the suit herself—
not with the blue silk Virginia suggested
but with stiff brown tweed,
the only embellishment
a double row of gold buttons.
They march down her bodice
toward the vignette’s haze.
Now Virginia can’t look at the portrait
without imagining fog
creeping up her daughter’s chest and throat.
It smothers her mouth and nose
and dims her eyes,
rising past the soft down at her hairline
to claim every part of her,
even this relic, this trick of light.

This selection comes from Studies of Familiar Birds, available from Able Muse Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Carrie Green’s book, Studies of Familiar Birds, is forthcoming from Able Muse Press in December 2020. She earned her MFA at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and has received grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Her poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry Northwest, River Styx, Flyway, Blackbird, Cave Wall, DIAGRAM, and many other journals. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and works as a reference librarian in a public library.

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe and the Non-Fiction Editor of Doubleback Review. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Selkie Literary Magazine, and Writing Class Radio. She’s currently an MFA Nonfiction candidate at Vermont College of Fine Art and lives in Riverview, Florida.


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