The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: My Tarantella by Jennifer Martelli

This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from My Tarantella by Jennifer Martelli, released by Bordighera Press in 2018.

A God Lives in the Amygdala

I heard Amy Winehouse today, jacked up fast & techno, for my heart.
The leaves fell the way Rilke saw them fall: all motioning no, no, no.

I heard the brown bats that roost under the bridge over the lead mills.
And the cats crying in heat with the warn & want of a baby.

I live in a jewel-toned neighborhood. One day, as I strolled past the
                quietest house,
a small forest of Queen of Night tulips
blossomed into a whole night sky.

Next day, each Queen’s stamen weakened, let loose & wept.

Do you know that nothing outside of our mouths will save us?
A god lives in the amygdala, but he is weak, too, asleep under the new
Did you see an angel’s viscera across the sky?

Back when I was young and always broken hearted, I, too, fell into a
                fever and drank
vodka chilled next to fat halved lemons in the bowl.

Jennifer Martelli (she, her, hers) is the author of My Tarantella (Bordighera Press), awarded an Honorable Mention from the Italian-American Studies Association, selected as a 2019 “Must Read” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, and named as a finalist for the Housatonic Book Award. She is also the author of After Bird, winner of the Grey Book Press open reading, 2016, In the Year of Ferraro (Nixes Mate Press, 2020) and The Queen of Queens, forthcoming in 2022 from Bordighera Press. Her work will appear or has appeared in The Tahoma Literary Review, Thrush, Cream City Review, Verse Daily, Iron Horse Review (winner, Photo Finish contest), and Poetry. Jennifer Martelli has twice received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for her poetry. She is co-poetry editor for Mom Egg Review.


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