The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Learning to Love a Western Sky by Amelia Díaz Ettinger


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Callista Buchen, is from Learning to Love a Western Sky by Amelia Díaz Ettinger, released by Airlie Press in 2020. 

Last Night

Returning to youth
across dark fog
the distance is long
and the foot falters.

Open the iron gates
rusted by dreams,
a motherless girl playing alone.
Her hair luminous.

She has no eyes,
but shadows
for lashes
inert upon her cheeks.

Mouth red and round,
loose at its ends,
she cries.
At the bottom of the walk

there is a guava tree,
the girl sits in its lap sighing.
Her braids unmade
by a gentle breeze, she
stiffens her tender shoulders.

Thoughts hidden,
watching the fog lift
as the moment quavers,
she seeks solace
and climbs the fruiting tree.


Amelia Díaz Ettinger is a ‘Mexi-Rican,’ born in México but raised in Puerto Rico. As a BIPOC poet and writer, she has two full-length poetry books published; Learning to Love a Western Sky by Airlie Press, and a bilingual poetry book, Speaking at a Time /Hablando a  la Vez by Redbat Press, and a poetry chapbook, Fossils in a Red Flag by Finishing Line Press, in 2021. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in literary journals and anthologies. Presently, Amelia Díaz Ettinger is working on an MFA in creative writing at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande Oregon.

Callista Buchen is the author of the full-length collection Look Look Look (Black Lawrence Press, 2019), and the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, 2016). Her work appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, and many other journals. She is the winner of the DIAGRAM’s essay contest and the C.D Wright conference’s Emerging Writer award, and is the founder of the Carlson-Stauffer Reading Series at Franklin College. 

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