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.

Snow White

I dreamt I woke in winter—
even the river
silent, its tongue caught mid-
sentence, like mine
when someone looks at me
too closely. It had been years

since I understood winter
so well I knew it to be inside
my own bone-cage, since I had
smelled that kind of white.

White of the frozen rabbit
my spaniel dragged in from the back
yard, white of horse-breath in the barn,
white of birds so desperate
for seed they pretend colorlessness—

except the cardinal, drop of heat,
too neat to be blood, too brave
to be symbol. I woke in winter

and almost-knew what I had always
almost-known, back in those dark
five o’clock walks home for dinner:

something about loneliness living
in the well of the throat, something
about fur and burrowing
and black eyes
waiting for the thaw.

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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