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


All that summer I was climbing stairs. On the steep
hill from tram stop, I often took them two at once.

Other nights I wavered down the steps and wound
my way around the alleys to my heat-thick room.

One night he trailed me up those five full flights. We woke
to Sunday morning. Alone I scaled the curving streets,

past music shops and lahmacun, to church. I sat in one hard
pew and tried to pray. I took the bread and wine. I watched

the cross, that ladder strung between my heart and yours. I did
not want to climb it, wished you’d just come down. Quit dying

for these sins I could not manage to regret. Wished your pathway just
not quite so narrow, wished I could carry him across it on my own.

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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