The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Head to Toe of It by Rikki Santer

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Genevieve Pfeiffer, is from Head to Toe of It by Rikki Santer, released by Kelsay Books in 2021. 


We like to adorn them with
columns of rhyming bangles
to tease out tender murmurs
of pulse. With confident cufflinks,
clockwork of too many complications,
ruffles for uselessness, astrological
tattooes—all charms for our most narrow
but not enough to forgive deep
histories of handcuff & shackle.
Delicate body part for
lacey bridal gloves,
archer’s sheath,
baby’s protector
from droplets too hot.
Deep histories
of handcuff & shackles,
never enough to forgive—
charms of our most narrow
those wrists rhyming
with bracelets to tease out
murmurs of pulse.

Rikki Santer’s poetry has received many honors including six Pushcart and three Ohioana and Ohio Poet book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her eleventh poetry collection, Stopover, which is in conversation with the original Twilight Zone series, was recently published by Luchador Press. She is also a member of the teaching artist roster of the Ohio Arts Council, a vice president of the Ohio Poetry Association, and a member of the poetry troupe Concrete Wink.

Genevieve Pfeiffer is a poet, writer, and scholar. Their masters project at New York University explores ideological shifts around birth control & abortion and their intersections with nature & culture. Read more about this project at the link below.

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