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.


for francine, for Detroit

From my mouth, forgive me: friend, woman
When I said there are no flowers here, I forgot
to mention the bloom of lace around a young girl’s

ankle at Easter, her peony shaped afro puffs,
carnelian carnations pinned to dresses honoring
those mothers not lost Spectrum of May collected from

Eastern Market, rowed in mismatched rainbows
in red wagons or inside the phantom box of a son’s
arms I forget the cured meat spread out from the black

barrel of a barbeque, bushel of yarn sopped with sauce,
unlike the gauze full of blood from a young boy’s head
Dear God the plankton of music dying our faces in the hot

summer streets, fever of jazz, blush of blues: raw heart
confront me This city, always in my face Bouquet of
incense, apothecaries with shea and oils Give a dollar

and I’ll show you a conductor, his white bucket symphony
No I haven’t forgotten the fire, molotov shards spreading
orange and gold flames as a field of dahlia across our

living room licking my mother’s heels, the heroine wolf
dragging me from my bed I don’t blame the addict
who didn’t know which house to huff and blow down,

or the firemen arriving late And yes, angels too
A neighbor who let me, knees pressed to sternum, watch
from his porch as our house ashed itself clean We have

to see the truth of things Did I say there was no flora here?
No pollen shaken from the anthers round head,
the yellow dust settling in the cracks of windshield?
I meant: give me a plot I’ll dig to the rich black

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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