The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Ghost Dogs by Dion O’Reilly

All the Hungry Falcons

Appetite makes them keen
when they scan the tunneled field
for shivers in the dead grass.
Their vision sharpens, pupils dilate.
From a mile away, they see
their feed, and they take it.
All my life, I’ve stowed my stories
like a box of banned books
under the bed. Each one, unforgiven,
an arc of trouble and want.
They quicken my hunger
for what I’ll never have
or never have again—
a mother mainly, certain men,
but a sister and brother too, a city
I walked in with hot paper cups,
my lips foamed with cappuccino
as it rained and rained.
Oh, the world feels tidal
when I get like this, when l can’t stop
hunting for something intimate and filling.
I see it lift from the soil.
The sun, a muzzle flash,
turning the meadow bright, burning
off the haze. I soar in, see it magnified,
everything itself only more so.

This selection comes from Ghost Dogs, available from Terrapin Books. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sunni Brown Wilkinson.

Dion O’Reilly’s first book, Ghost Dogs, was published in February 2020 by Terrapin Books. Her work appears in Cincinnati Review, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Narrative, Sugar House Review, New Letters, New Ohio Review, Rattle, The Sun, and other literary journals and anthologies. She facilitates ongoing poetry workshops in a farmhouse full of wild art and is a member of the Hive Poetry Collective which produces radio shows, podcasts, and events in Santa Cruz. (

Sunni Brown Wilkinson’s poetry can be found in Western Humanities Review, Sugar House Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, SWWIM, Crab Orchard Review and other journals and anthologies. She is the author of The Marriage of the Moon and the Field (Black Lawrence Press 2019, finalist for the Hudson Prize) and The Ache & The Wing (forthcoming 2021, winner of Sundress’s 2020 Chapbook Prize).  She also won New Ohio Review’s NORward Poetry Prize and the 2020 Joy Harjo Prize from Cutthroat Literary Magazine. She teaches at Weber State University and lives in northern Utah with her husband and three sons. 

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