The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Look Alive by Luiza Flynn-Goodlett


This selection, chosen by guest curator Addie Tsai, is from Look Alive by Luiza Flynn-Goodlett, released by Southeast Missouri State University Press in 2021. 

The Choice

What’s unthinkable, awkward
as stepping backward down
stairs, cruel as pushing aside

a home-cooked meal, seems
to me most human—embrace
the symmetry between womb

and casket, slip the overdue
book of the body down a dark
chute. Sunrise isn’t assured to

any, so why direct your gaze to
the orchid, intricate as an ear’s
innards, demand it be enough.

It may never be. You’re still my
sister—vanished in hip-high
grass, silence that greets panic.


Luiza Flynn-Goodlett is the author of Look Alive—a finalist for numerous prizes, including The National Poetry Series, and winner of the 2019 Cowles Poetry Book Prize from Southeast Missouri State University Press—along with seven chapbooks, most recently The Undead, winner of Sixth Finch Books’ 2020 Chapbook Contest, and Shadow Box, winner of the 2019 Madhouse Press Editor’s Prize. Her poetry can be found in TriQuarterly, Third Coast, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She also serves as editor-in-chief of the Whiting Award–winning LGBTQ+ literary journal Foglifter.

Addie Tsai (any/all) is a queer nonbinary artist and writer of color. They collaborated with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater on Victor Frankenstein and Camille Claudel, among others. Addie holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College and a PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. She is the author of the queer Asian young adult novel Dear TwinUnwieldy Creatures, their adult queer biracial retelling of Frankenstein, is forthcoming from Jaded Ibis Press in 2022. They are the Fiction Co-Editor at Anomaly, Staff Writer at Spectrum South, and Founding Editor & Editor in Chief at just femme & dandy.

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