The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Cleave by Tiana Nobile


Of an animal, especially a bird. A wandering species
whom no seas nor places limit. A seed who survives despite
the depths of hard winter. The ripple of a herring

steering her band from icy seas to warmer strands.
To find the usual watering-places despite
the gauze of death that shrouds our eyes

is a breathtaking feat. Do you ever wonder why
we felt like happy birds brushing our feathers
on the tips of leaves? How we lifted our toes

from one sandbank and landed – fingertips first –
on another? Why we clutched the dumb and tiny creatures
of flower and blade and sod between our budding fists?

From an origin of buried seeds emerge
these many-banded dagger wings.
We, of the sky, the dirt, and the sea. We,

the seven-league-booters and the little-by-littlers.
We, transmigrated souls, will prevail.
We will carry ourselves into the realms of light.

This selection comes from Cleave, available from Hub City Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Leah Silvieus.

Tiana Nobile is a Korean American adoptee, Kundiman fellow, and recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. A finalist of the National Poetry Series and Kundiman Poetry Prize, her writing has appeared in Poetry Northwest, The New Republic, Guernica, and the Texas Review, among others. Her full-length poetry debut, Cleave, is forthcoming in Spring 2021 by Hub City Press. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. For more, visit Follow at @tiananob

Leah Silvieus was born in South Korea and adopted to the U.S. at three-months old. She grew up in small towns in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley and western Colorado. She is the author of Anemochory (Hyacinth Girl Press), Season of Dares (Bull City Press), Arabilis (Sundress Publications) and co-editor with Lee Herrick of the poetry anthology, The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit (Orison Books). She is a recipient of awards and fellowships from Kundiman, The Academy of American Poets, and Fulbright and serves as a mentor on The Brooklyn Poets Bridge. A 2019-2020 National Book Critics Circle Emerging Fellow, Leah serves as a senior books editor at Hyphen magazine and an associate editor at Marginalia Review of Books. Her reviews and criticism have appeared in the Harvard Review OnlineThe Believer, and elsewhere.  
She holds a BA from Whitworth University, an MFA from the University of Miami, and is currently an MAR candidate in Religion and Literature at Yale Divinity School/Institute of Sacred Music. Prior to Yale, she spent several years traveling between New York and Florida as a yacht chief stewardess.



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