The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Ministry of Flowers by Andrea Witzke Slot

This selection, chosen by Guest Editor Jordi Alonso, is from The Ministry of Flowers by Andrea Witzke Slot, released by Valley Press in 2020.


for Peter

Scrolled parchment, spiralled into safe-
keeping. Texts pressed, snailed into cells.

Flesh scrolled into mine, just an arm
spun over my waist, my back pressed

to a stomach, hips spooled into parchment
of thighs, hands domed beneath fingers

intersticed, fingers that shudder every so often,
as if to remind me that morning is not yet,

as if to say 4am is but a bookmark,
an airlocked reserve, a reed pen,

a cave of punctuation mark. Aide-
. Where-to-return. Papyrus

of iron-gall and carbon soot sheets,
we are tucked into as little space as possible,

in these coils of elsewhere. Nobody knows
us here and we can hardly decipher it ourselves,

yet if this dead sea life is but an afterthought
of words without words, sleep without sleep,

then leave me here, pressed between
mornings, coppered into clay pot dark.

Andrea Witzke Slot is a London-based poet and fiction writer, whose work has won prizes with Able Muse and Fiction International and placed in a number of competitions in both the US and UK. Her work can be found in such places as Ambit, American Literary Review, The Southeast Review, and Stand Magazine. After teaching for many years, Andrea now lives in London where she works as a contributing artist with Fiona Lesley’s Poetry Exchange and works to capture humanity and nature in words, paints, piano and photography. Her publications include To find a new beauty (Gold Wake Press 2012) and The Ministry of Flowers (Valley Press 2020). Find her online on her website, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Jordi Alonso holds a BA from Kenyon College, an MFA from Stony Brook University, and a PhD in English from the University of Missouri where he studied nineteenth century British literature, classical reception in the Victorian era, and ancient Greek. He will begin his studies towards an MA in Classical Studies at Columbia University in the fall. His first book, a collection of erotic poems inspired by Sappho, Honeyvoiced, was published by XOXOX Press in November of 2014. His chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook was published in 2017 by Red Flag Press. He is currently writing a third book of poems based on ancient Greek divination practices at Delphi.

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