The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Animal At Your Side by Megan Alpert


My sister comes home
smelling of dirt she was buried in,
dandelion milk under her nails.

We wash her arms,
scrub her fingers
with stinging soap,
but still she is not clean.

When she finally speaks,
it’s to hand me that trowel
and I’ll bury the seeds

while upstairs our grandmother
paces the attic.

Will I wake anywhere
besides this house,
or love anyone ever
beyond my sister
with the skinned knees?

I wake again in the garden
crushing stems against my teeth.

This selection comes from The Animal at Your Side, available from Airlie Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Shannon Wolf.

Megan Alpert grew up in the suburbs of New York City and has since lived in St. Paul, Seattle, Boston, Washington, DC, and Quito, Ecuador. She is the recipient of an Orlando Poetry Prize from A Room of Her Own Foundation and residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Studios at MASS MoCA, and the Marquette Chamber Residency. As a journalist, Alpert has received fellowships from Foreign Policy and the International Women’s Media Foundation. She has worked as a sandwich maker, bookseller, child caregiver, ESL teacher, journalist, and editor.

Shannon Wolf is a British writer and teacher, living in Louisiana. She is currently a joint MA-MFA candidate in Poetry at McNeese State University. She is the Non-Fiction Editor of The McNeese Review, and Social Media Intern for Sundress Publications. She also holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. Her poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction (which can also be found under the name Shannon Bushby) have appeared in The Forge and Great Weather for Media, among others. You can find her on social media @helloshanwolf.


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