The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: FOREVERHAUS by Kaley Tedesco


a good mirror is nothing but a door

the stench of wet pennies mossbeds my footpads. i wishing well myself
through it, circle salt around all my old bodies, a sort of hopscotch.

bloody mary confides in me now—i was not thinking of ending my life
just leaving the kitchen, just sleeping alone in the grass

staining my skin the same green as the paint for our faces
but everyone balked & everyone swarmed & everyone sang.

nothing here is secret nor sacred. i like to sleep woodtucked, too.
i’m in need of blood work but it autocorrects to bloodworm

& so it shall be & so it is—my veins oozing with pest. i wish i were
with her sooner, collected in the dirt, a real pile of doze.

now i chant until my mouths seep & my mouths drool
& my mouths fill with limbs from some parlor of a pastlife.

out come the oil lamps hung swinging from my teeth. i hollow myself out,
make waxdolls of bloody mary still clutching rosaries by the lake.

i’ve always hoped the bathroom vanity would pry for me,
wet with its tongues & in i’d crawl to take her place, forever.

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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