The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: No Other Rome by Heather Green

This selection, chosen by guest curator and Sundress intern Katherine DeCoste, is from No Other Rome by Heather Green, released by University of Akron Press in 2021. 

Aristotle is a Skeleton

The skeleton called out for sets of bones
to fill the hole, but then you reached your arm in,
your fingers stretched down to the unknown,
the loam, the moon-shy dark. You called, Abstraction!
as your fingers shaped into the word for five
but didn’t pull your hand back from the black
of the abyss until the digits, still alive,
became just 5. You cried, It’s too abstract!

when your arm snapped back: at the end of the limb
stood |5| which looked so vast but in fact was only
that which is not not five. At first you’d say
the skeleton had been the villain, blaming him,
but for the lure of the leap, the loss, though lonely.
In time, the hole transformed you all the way.

Heather Green‘s poetry collection No Other Rome was released in March of 2021 (Akron Poetry Series). Her writing has appeared in Bennington Review, Everyday Genius, the New Yorker, and elsewhere. She is the translator of Tristan Tzara’s Noontimes Won (Octopus Books, 2018) and her translations of Tzara’s work have appeared in Asymptote and Poetry International, and are forthcoming in AGNI. Green is an Assistant Professor in the School of Art at George Mason University.

Katherine DeCoste is an MA student at the University of Victoria, on the stolen lands of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples and the WSANEC peoples. Their poems have appeared in Grain Magazine, The Antigonish Review, Contemporary Verse 2, and elsewhere, and their play “many hollow mercies” won the 2020 Alberta Playwriting Competition Novitiate Prize. When not writing, reading, or answering emails, you can find them baking vegan snacks and forcing their friends to play Dungeons and Dragons.


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