The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: You Should Feel Bad by Laura Cresté


This selection, chosen by guest curator Sarah Clark, is from You Should Feel Bad by Laura Cresté, released by Poetry Society of America in 2020. 

Winter Again, But Worse

December 21st: Not only the longest night of the year,
but eclipsed—the darkest night in 500 years.
Of course, we all think.

But that article was from 2010. This is only the normal amount
       of darkness.
There were two incidents of terror yesterday:
an ambassador shot in an art gallery
and a crowd at a holiday market plowed down by a truck.
But it wasn’t here, so today isn’t extraordinary.

December 23rd: Dogsitting in an apartment on West 12th Street,
I take a bath and my feet don’t touch the other end of the tub:
that’s how rich they are. The dog regards me from the heated tile.

Before our walks, I wrestle red socks over his paws,
to keep the salted streets from burning him.
Mike secures the socks simply, like he’s practiced dressing children.

I want to bring cookies from the good Italian bakery
to the party, but Mike says save my money, no one there will eat them.
I know everyone is going to be thin and terrible.

December 31st: I can’t remember how fast we should eat twelve grapes
or black-eyed peas, when to shower or what to wish,
if we should bake a cake with money in it,
so I do absolutely nothing. Look
at the lunatic way champagne tries to escape a glass flute.

January 20th: Swallow the pills that keep me from sinking, take
       them with food.
We said we weren’t going to watch it. But at a pancake house in
       New Jersey

we stand at the counter to see the new president signing papers.
Is this routine? someone asks, alarmed, but we don’t know.

I repot my aloe like the world isn’t ending
and I’ll need something for all the small cuts in my life,

pour birdseed into the feeder and let it overflow onto the snow.
Let someone blameless feel lucky today, even a squirrel.


Laura Cresté is the author of You Should Feel Bad, winner of a 2019 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. She holds an MFA from New York University, and is currently a 2021-2022 writing fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Native (Nanticoke) editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief of beestung, Editor-in-Chief at ANMLY, Co-Editor at Bettering American Poetry, a Co-Editor of The Queer Movement Anthology, and a member of Sundress Press’s Board of Directors.

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