The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Rare Wondrous Things by Alyse Bensel

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Sally Rosen Kindred, is from Rare Wondrous Things by Alyse Bensel, released by Green Writers Press in 2020. 

Illustration as Memento Mori

I catalogue near-death beauty
on needled veins, the slow
flexing wings made for midday
basking. Little token near-gone,
you are all color, no weight,
buoyant and alone. I have
searched like that, aimless,
circling for the right angle,
the best nectar. It can be
my poison, too. That drop
from the Lethe—sleep.
Will you be living or dead
when the ink has dried?
Will you even be seen at all?

Alyse Bensel is the author of Rare Wondrous Things: A Poetic Biography of Maria Sibylla Merian (Green Writers Press 2020) and three chapbooks. Her work has appeared in AGNIAlaska Quarterly ReviewGulf CoastSouthern Indiana Review, and West Branch. She serves as Poetry Editor for Cherry Tree and teaches at Brevard College, where she directs the Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference.

Sally Rosen Kindred‘s third poetry book is Where the Wolf (Diode Editions, 2021). She is also the author of Book of Asters and No Eden, as well as three chapbooks, including Says the Forest to the Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly ReviewLos Angeles ReviewShenandoah, and Kenyon Review Online. She teaches online workshops for The Poetry Barn. 


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