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. 

to tend the garden that is my throat, suddenly in bloom

inosculation is a natural phenomenon in which trunks, branches or roots of two trees grow together. it is biologically similar to grafting. it is most common for branches of two trees of the same species to grow together, though inosculation may be noted across related species.

we speak in hypotheticals, you & i: we run our fingers
along tulip seams. we convince our clumsy mouths to
sing to longing, to sing of something in fashionable
furs—we thank her for her feral ache.

& we call this storytelling, how you bite with river
teeth & swear in languages i’ve never known. we
call it everything, we call it nothing. because
what can you possibly call the future that

it hasn’t heard before? so we take to the forest. we
dress our skeletons for wintertime & war. because
both will come, eventually. but until then, we’ll
dance. after all, we know of nothing else worth

doing, & we’ll call this surviving: the way our bodies
twist & wiggle—the way we plant our fingers in the
dirt like naked sycamores, praying. the way you
tend the garden that is my throat, suddenly in

bloom. how gently i would turn the earth, you say.
how kindly i would love her sorrows. & we’ll call
that living. because we know of nothing else
worth doing. nothing else

at all.

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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