The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Water Cycle by Beth Gordon

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator H.V. Cramond, is from The Water Cycle by Variant Lit in 2022. 

Hydrology (ii)

Every morning you drink coffee from a mug painted with a river & I
am always astonished by the way you mix ginger root & fireproof boxes
into still life. For years I’ve lived inside steel-winged flying machines &
airport bars, my people the grounded people looking for new ways to
drown. The last bartender I praised was pregnant, her bouquet of belly
a small, miraculous moon in a world where the best thing someone
could offer me was a double shot of whiskey or beer at 7:30 am. I’m
not saying I’m sorry that I lived that way. I’m saying that four months
later her daughter is three months old & I wonder if you ever loved
someone as much as I loved the way she sliced a new lemon for me &
called me sweetheart while her baby kicked against the tide.

Beth Gordon is a poet, mother and grandmother. She is currently hanging out in Asheville NC where she is one of the few residents who does not claim to go kayaking every morning at 6 am. Beth received an MFA from American University in Washington DC and then disappeared into suburbia for almost 30 years. She reappeared in 2017 and since then has been widely published and has been nominated for Best of the Net, the Orison Anthology, and the Pushcart Prize. Beth is the author of two previous chapbooks and her full-length collection, This Small Machine of Prayer, was published in 2021 by Kelsay Books. She is Managing Editor of Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, Co-Editor of Animal Heart Press, and Grandma of Femme Salve Books.

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


Leave a Reply