The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Salt Body Shimmer by Aricka Foreman


This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Salt Body Shimmer by Aricka Foreman, released by YesYes Books in 2019.

MENARCHE MALARKEY
THE BEGINNING THE END

Neither of us were ready for it
My poor mother dealing The Talk
as the crisis came—sex and the bloom
that preceded it—like a war room
preparation She came with what she
knew: doctrines on the lathe of life,
how to hide secrets Ashamed of
the slick brown tributary, I tucked
the cotton into my pants pocket, sure
it’d be missed in the weekend wash
My poor mother, her hands full
of questions
               when did it/ why hadn’t I/ the lies
falling from my mouth like dead stars
I held each cramp of shedding,
clotted tissue, scrubbed stains, hid
evidence How we’re taught to think
ourselves criminal, perpetuate
elaborate hoaxes: all witches,
sinners All women, witches:
maybe If I could go back, I’d ask
what’s in the blood? She’d say
of our miraculous machinery—
handing me a tampon, a divacup,
a wrench, a pick axe for this
business of ritual—listen, get to work


Aricka Foreman is a poet, editor and educator from Detroit. Author of Dream with a Glass Chamber and Salt Body Shimmer (YesYes Books 2019), she has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Her poems, essays and features have appeared in The Offing, Buzzfeed, Vinyl, RHINO, The Blueshift Journal, Day One, shuf Poetry, James Franco Review, THRUSH, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation (Viking Penguin), among others. She lives in Chicago.

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