The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Through a Grainy Landscape by Millicent Borges Accardi

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Stephanie Erdman, is from Through a Grainy Landscape by Millicent Borges Accardi, released by New Meridian Arts in 2021. 

And We’ve Known This

based on a line by Lin-Manuel Miranda:
We know history will remember this tragedy, and its tragedians.

As sure as it is when time
ends and you are in Dutch,
as in, you have me over a barrel
of the old harms and imposters,
rearing their disordered
heads, the guilty displayed
freshly on a table like
uncut meat, finished and ready
for the knife. Then the mouth,
a contraction of what is,
as if these women had peeled
their own lives away from their skin.
We pretend we are on a holiday,
when the children are taken,
when the borders are closed,
when it is considered free and easy
for others to play loose with new lies.
Hell, we never saw this coming,
but it has been here all along,
a closed deficiency of character,
like a man with no moral compass.
This is what we have, instead
of living. So, we cut, we use, we rise
above the global unity
until we are too old to impound
or imprison. There is an exchange of
a want for a want. No needs
met—just a weak understanding
that one side does not have
the only right of passage. We cut,
we use, we impound. Thick
with kindness, we are full
of tragedy and a need for love,
suppressing all the world before us,
to just be understood.

Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American writer, is the author of three poetry collections, including Only More So (Salmon Poetry, Ireland), Injuring Eternity, and Through a Grainy Landscape. Among her awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Fulbright, CantoMundo, the California Arts Council, Foundation for Contemporary Arts (Covid grant), Yaddo, Fundação Luso-Americana (Portugal), and the Barbara Deming Foundation, “Money for Women.” She lives in Topanga, California.

Stephanie L. Erdman graduated Purdue University and received her master’s degree through Indiana University. Her first poetry collection, Pyrrhonic, is available through Dos Madres Press and her second collection, Sankhara, is upcoming from Urban Farmhouse Press. Stephanie describes her style as anything with music and novelty. Stephanie lives in Northwest Indiana and works as a professor of English, editor, and professional tutor. She lives in Benton Harbor, Michigan with her dog, cat, 18 chickens, a transient partner, and persistent impostor syndrome.


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