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.

Lives Not Our Own

I watch the birds
to find out the news:
who’s fat and ready
for the holidays in his bright coat,
who likes a bath after dinner.
These autumn days the robins
are flocking and the starlings frighten
people who walk under the trees and think
they hear far-away screaming.
Chickadees arrow in, take one seed,
and leave; a wren drops her careful selection
and searches for it on the ground.
I know no one’s interested
in the play-by-play of lives not their own,
but—it must matter, what we feed ourselves with.
What we hold in our mouths
and swallow down before the storm.

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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