The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Madonna, Complex by Jen Stewart Fueston

Jeanne D’Arc

Et toi, que réponds tu à l’amour?

As with Mary, it was
the sound of angel wings
that broke the silence.
My ears rang gold. I felt fire
sprouting from
the dun earth.

Light spilt over the green valley—
on my head a warmth
settled, and began to spread.
I heard the sound of beating pulses
between bird-notes, heard the sound
water makes falling from a clay pitcher,
felt my blood running warm in my veins,

and then he came.
Do not ask why God
sometimes whispers his wisdom
to women too young to keep secrets.

This slow coming alive, a burning,
God, a flaming-red coal
in my throat. I heard him
come and settle in the fields of France,
heard him ask,

With what will you answer my love?

This selection comes from Madonna, Complex, available from Cascade Books. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Jen Stewart Fueston is the author of Madonna, Complex (Cascade Books 2020), Latch (River Glass Books 2019) and Visitations (Finishing Line Press 2015). Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in AGNI, Thrush, Western Humanities Review, Spoon River Poetry Review and elsewhere. A native of Colorado, she has taught writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as internationally in Hungary, Turkey and Lithuania.  

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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