The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Your Strange Fortune by Chloe N. Clark

This selection, chosen by guest curator Heather Leigh, is from Your Strange Fortune by Chloe N. Clark, released by Vegetarian Alcoholic Press in 2019. 

Ballad of Silver Blades

I’m sure your ghosts will come
out of the corners of rooms
and the backs of closets, hidden
behind coats that haven’t been worn
since they were in style that year
everyone wore yellow the shade
of marigolds.

Your ghosts will answer to every name
that you think to call them. Remember
how it felt the first time you realized you
never knew the middle name of your
grandfather? Ghosts will still answer, even
if all you call them is love or you there.
Ghosts carry no grudges, they can’t
keep up with them.

You will always wonder what became of your ghosts,
the ones you heard singing in the hallways
of emptied out buildings, the ones who
had such beautiful voices but only when
they thought no one was listening, the ones
who hummed instead when they saw you
could see them. One day you will ask for your ghosts
and your voice may shake and your
breath may come too fast, too shallow,
and you will wonder what time it is where
they are and whether they might
catch their trains, walk the distance,
reach you soon enough. Know, though,
that I’m sure your ghost will come,
they will always come, to hold you
as tightly as they can.

Chloe N. Clark is the author of Collective Gravities, Your Strange Fortune, and more. Her forthcoming books include Escaping the Body and Every Song a Vengeance. She is a founding co-EIC of Cotton Xenomorph.

Heather Leigh is a queer, disabled writer and editor who has been working within Chicago’s publishing world for more than twenty years, editing poetry for the likes of Curbside Splendor and reading prose and poetry for Uncanny Magazine. She has recently began to focus on her own publication goals between semesters teaching English, writing, reading, and journalism at various midwestern community colleges. She is a three-time SAFTA fellowship recipient, a multiple resident of Firefly Farms, and most recently had a speculative horror story published in Bloodlet, an anthology by CultureCult Press. She lives in Chicago with a retired cage-fighting poet, two rescue cats names after Buffy watchers, enjoying life with the family that caught her by surprise.


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