The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Pelted by Flowers by Kali Lightfoot

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Callista Buchen, is from Pelted by Flowers by Kali Lightfoot, released by CavanKerry Press in 2021. 

The Day Before

What is this day like for you?
The last day before you hear
test results: gene mutation

or not, disability
or not, early death
or not, or

not—the last
last day of 50% chances
before the days of 0% or 100%.

Did you have eggs Benedict
for breakfast? Are you thinking
about tacos for lunch?

Clutching this last day of mystery,
or anxious for certainty?
Betting on yes, or betting on no?

We aren’t talking about genes
today or the doctor’s appointment,
or the way your words

slur sometimes, your leg jerks.
Does Huntington’s, or fear of it,
knot your muscles?

Last days are most often lived
backward—in memory of who
we were and what our lives

were like the day before Dad
died, or the fire took our house,
or I landed in detox.

This time we are living forward—
this isn’t just Tuesday;
it’s the Tuesday before we know.

Kali Lightfoot lives in Salem, MA. Her poems and reviews of poetry books have appeared in journals and anthologies, including Poetry South, Lavender Review, Broadsides to Books, and Gyroscope. Kali’s work has been nominated twice for Pushcart Prize, and once for Best of the Net. Pelted by Flowersher debut collection, is available from CavanKerry Press and other venues. Kali was once a wilderness ranger in the U.S. Forest Service, and later founding Executive Director of the National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes; before earning an MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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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