The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: & watch how easily the jaw sings of god by Ashley Cline

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator H.V. Cramond, is from & watch how easily the jaw sings of god by Ashley Cline, released by Glass Poetry Press in 2021. 

standing at the base of a martian cliff in spring, or how i learned to dance in mosh pits

you ask my muscle memory to listen for the landslide

& this chance of crashing, this promise of spilling
reminds me how i learned to move from coyotes caught
in mid-bloom: all half-cocked fur & piston-pawed

& milk-teeth belly up, swallowing prism moons at nine
& playing at the shapes of evaporated violence—
goodness how we moved, then, when we thought

that no one could see us caught between rosewater &
hunter touch / goodness how we moved, all hackles up
& bargaining with plums / goodness how we moved with

muscles nipping at each other’s feral reds & blues,
& goodness how we moved like sharp angles begetting
rabbit burrows & slumbering god songs / & goodness still

how we stretched our mouths around the sun until we had
learned to move inside the small circles of each other—
& oh, how we called it breakdown, how we called it friday

night: how an elbow could find its way into the tiny
tender parts, like a fox among the hens, like a sheep
howling at a martian moon, we moved like we knew

our hunger by her name / & goodness how we
invited her to dance, to sweat, to bare her teeth
& to smile; to call this flurry of my bones

avalanche, & be buried by it.

An avid introvert, full-time carbon-based life-form and aspiring himbo, Ashley Cline‘s poetry has appeared in 404 Ink, Okay DonkeyWrongdoing Magazine, and HAD—among others. A Pushcart nominee and Best of the Net 2020 finalist, her debut chapbook & watch how easily the jaw sings of god is available now (Glass Poetry Press), while should the earth reclaim you (Bone & Ink Press) and cowabungaly yours at the end of the world (Gutslut Press) are forthcoming. Once, in the summer of 2019, she crowd-surfed an inflatable sword to Carly Rae Jepsen, and her best at all-you-can-eat sushi is 5 rolls in 11 minutes.

H.V. Cramond holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was the founding Poetry Editor of Requited Journal for 10 years. In 2018, she helped pass the Survivor’s Bill of Rights as the Illinois organizer for Rise. Recent work can be found in Soundless Poetry, Ignavia, death hums, Crack the Spine, BlazeVOX, Menacing Hedge, Adanna, So to Speak, Thank You for Swallowing, Dusie, Masque & Spectacle, Matter, and at


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