The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: FOREVERHAUS by Kaley Tedesco


spiral at the heart of the haus

the shower whispers says bloody mary—
her name or mine or a knock when no one is at the door

neighbors dare each other to ring the bell broken for years
noiselessness existing against the fear of the haus.

i dry off make the faucet water a discarded shift
no longer of any use to me. some say the haus grows from within,

a pie is lazing on the sill daydreaming of its fruit bursting
gems against the heat of the oven.

now it bleeds from the crust & i, too, bleed something
that is not blood according to your legend. my toy bears

jolt across the room my old dolls cry at the gables their spouses off in some war.
bloody mary tries to find me in the walls.

when you die she says i’ll keep your parts inside the haus forever
the parts that i inherit a pendant

two jadeite bowls black magic roses casketed in gold
all the rings of your life & the fingers that filled them.

perhaps i’m planted sooner than is natural. my tulips bud
on a warm day in winter die out within the hour fertilize the dirt

with their deadness. a doppelgänger blossom or just another resurrection.
i’m in here i call to her from within a wall that does not exist

in her memory of the haus. she will never find me.

This selection comes from FOREVERHAUS, available from White Stag. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Kimberly Ann Priest.

Kailey Tedesco is the author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publishing) and Lizzie, Speak (winner of White Stag Publishing’s 2018 MS Contest). Her newest collection, FOREVERHAUS, is now available from White Stag. She is a senior editor for Luna Luna Magazine, and she teaches literature and writing at Moravian College and Northampton Community College. You can find her work in Electric Literature,The Journal, Ninth Letter, Fairy Tale Review, Black Warrior Review, and more. For further information, please visit kaileytedesco.com.

Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress 2021), Parrot Flower (Glass 2021), Still Life (PANK 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (Finishing Line Press 2018). Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North Dakota Quarterly, Salamander, Slipstream, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Borderland and many others. She is an associate poetry editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and Embody reader for The Maine Review. Find her work at kimberlyannpriest.com.

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