The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Wider than the Sky by Nancy Chen Long


We who go empty-clad
die a little each day,
our backwater bodies too stagnant

for a martyr’s melancholy.
Consolation is too much
a late ship. Never the strange

fires here, only moonseed
and hemlock. Only a bereft people
who cling to a thing once worshipped.

O idols, worshipped idols. It is because of you
that I never went to sea.

This selection comes from Wider than the Sky, available from Diode Editions. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Nancy Chen Long is the author of Light into Bodies (University of Tampa Press, 2017), winner of the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, as well as the chapbook Clouds as Inkblots for the War Prone (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2013). She is the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. Her work was selected as the winner of the 2019 Poetry Society of America Robert H. Winner Award and featured in Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and Indiana Humanities. She works at Indiana University in the Research Technologies division. Follow at @NancyChenLong

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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