The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: A Net to Catch my Body in its Weaving by Katie Farris

This selection, chosen by Sundress intern Ryleigh Wann, is from A Net to Catch my Body in its Weaving by Katie Farris, released by Beloit Poetry Journal. 

In the Event of my Death

What used to be
a rope descending
my vertebrae to the basement
of my spine
grew thin.

In solidarity with my first chemotherapy,
our cat leaves her whiskers on
the hardwood floor.
I gather them, each purewhite parenthesis,
and plant them
in the throat of the earth.

In quarantine,
I learned to trim your barbarian
hair. Now it stands always on end:
a salute to my superior barbery skills. In the event
of my death, promise you will find my heavy braid
and bury it—

I will need a rope
to let me down into the earth.
I’ve hidden others
strategically around the globe,
a net to catch
my body in its weaving.

Katie Farris’s work appears in American Poetry ReviewGrantaThe Nation, and Poetry, and has been commissioned by MoMA. She is the author of the chapbook A Net to Catch My Body in its Weaving, which won the 2020 Chad Walsh Poetry Award from Beloit Poetry Journal, and boysgirls, a hybrid-form book, as well as co-translator of many books of poetry. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley and Brown University. She is currently Associate Professor in Creative Writing at Georgia Institute of Technology. Standing in the Forest of Being Alive (Alice James Books, 2023) is her first book of poems.

Ryleigh Wann is an MFA poetry candidate at UNC Wilmington. Her past experiences include reading poetry for Ecotone, editing with Lookout Books, teaching creative writing, and working for the Parks and Recreation Department in Michigan. Her writing can be found in Rejection Letters, Flypaper Lit, and Kissing Dynamite Poetry, among others.


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