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 (v)

The second time you almost drowned I wasn’t there to stop you, at the
edge of a frog pond while the grownups downed shots of
whiskey, stars croaking & water lullabying you with the promise of
cotton candy or infinity when you sank like sunlight. The first time you
almost drowned, I turned my back to help your sister cross the tangle
of crab claws & seaweed & fishing lines to the spot where babies can
float & when I turned again a yellow circle bobbed against my feet.

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


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