The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Love Songs from the End of the World by Katherine Riegel

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Erika Eckart, is from Love Songs from the End of the World by Katherine Riegel, released by The Mainstreet Rag in 2019.

The Wolves in Yellowstone

Last night my friend leaked tears at the bar
when she told me about someone’s father

dying of cancer. It was a dive
bar, but with arches and a vaulted ceiling

like a chapel. Sometimes courage
both shakes and grounds me: how hard it is to tell

our fears, our griefs. Like the land
alternately baking and freezing, as it has always done,

though faster now because of us.
My friend loves her father like an arrow,

like a boomerang thrown just right
every time. She loves him, I think,

like I loved my mother, who was my witness
and my book. I want to tell her about endurance

and recovery, like the story of the wolves
brought back to Yellowstone—how because of them

the forests came back, and the birds, and the fish,
and even the rivers. But I know

sometimes all we hear is the howling, eerie
and lonely as rain at night.

Katherine Riegel is the author of Love Songs from the End of the WorldLetters to Colin Firth (Sundress Chapbook Prize Winner 2015), and two more books of poetry. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Offing,, and elsewhere. She is co-founder and managing editor of Sweet Lit, and teaches independent online classes in poetry and creative nonfiction. Find her at

Erika Eckart is the author of the tyranny of heirlooms, a chapbook of interconnected prose poems (Sundress Publications, 2018). Her writing has appeared in Double Room, Agni, Quarter After Eight, Quick Fiction, Nano Fiction, Quiditty, and elsewhere. She is a High School English Teacher in Oak Park, IL where she lives with her husband and two children.

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