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.


I face myself when I hear the news
Driving toward the mall to buy the kind

of camouflage it takes to be a woman
say I’m good The summer mild-long,

my sister still warm in her grave
I feel most dead these days, grief a tick

latched at my neck I am most lonely
when I feel this dead In the parking lot

the engine runs The podcast hosts press
I am so fucking tired, I’m tired of being

peaceful I’m tired of this shit What else

do we have to do to be treated human?

A woman slows her walk toward her mini-
van, my volume full blast She winces

I realize how hard I’m sobbing I don’t
recognize my sound I don’t wipe my face

I walk inside, tell the counter-woman without
looking NW 47 and the blot powder

in deep dark Please
And when she no, no
that can’t be right, you’re much lighter than that,

I stare And she stares and waits And I stare, say
nothing and we go on like this under the flickering

fluorescence until she retrieves a foundation
two shades lighter, opens it, taps it on a mirrored disk,

dabs her sponge And she doesn’t ask before reaching
And I don’t pause before grabbing her wrist

Just Get Me What I Asked For
And she stares
and I stare, the lights still buzzing and maybe

I haven’t been dead but living in this second stage
of grief, this rage that drops its red hot pin on a map:

Missouri, Michigan, Florida, New York,
Mississippi, California Where I look for other

words for meadow marrow crow I want more
than what I get Where there are no more black dresses

or mothers with carnations pinned to their blouses
No causes and no news outlets to say alleged

when they mean deserved it In a different world
I don’t have to face myself I don’t take a white lover

only to take something back I pull into the driveway
on a safe tree-lined street Set my bags on the counter

My lover texts How are you? I type his name like a prayer
Michael Michael Michael Michael Michael

she asks Who?

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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