The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Omma, Sea of Joy and Other Astrological Signs by Bo Schwabacher

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Alaina Hanchey, is from Omma, Sea of Joy and Other Astrological Signs by Bo Schwabacher, released by Tinderbox Editions in 2021.

A Korean Birth Mother’s Name

As I know

all mothers must, this pain
becomes an even-handed story

told over gin, yolk,

and crushed rose,
wild abandonment—Sara, may I call you that?

you weren’t mindless.

We’re both


flowers in Yeonggwang—it’s the part of the country

our people can’t find

cherry blossoms
are everywhere.

But I grow easily.

Bo Schwabacher is a South Korean adoptee. Born in South Korea, she was adopted at three months old and grew up in Illinois. Her poems have appeared in Cha, Radar, Tupelo Quarterly, Zone 3, and others. Omma, Sea of Joy and Other Astrological Signs, published by Tinderbox Editions, is her debut collection of poems. 

Alaina Hanchey, known as Harley to both friends and foes, believes rhetoric is intensely important and the way we speak can change the world. That belief was shared by her best friend, Quinn Arielle Kerlin, who inspired her to volunteer and immerse herself in those words that matter, and the connections that matter.


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