The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Macon Sex School by Marjorie Becker


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Jordi Alonso, is from The Macon Sex School: Songs of Tenderness and Resistance by Marjorie Becker, released by Tebot Bach in 2020.

Just How Ripe, How Negligee, How Long

What, then, did they learn
at that Macon Sex, that school

still close to tears and tears
as Aurelia ripped the cloth

and Cynthia still believed that being
black reminded her of symmetry,

of seasons others never felt
or saw or reconsidered and yet also

true that in that school Sharona
or Shareena knew the pliés

the ways we climbed the peach trees
finding just how ripe our men it seemed

remembered all the notes’ tenacity,
the very fingers high above and lower lower

deeper down the women captured fruit
and sound and they proceeded using fingers

filled with thought with purchase and a
sort of permanence to gather up

to claim the ripest of am I here
to play the men or still remember

how stealthy they, the women from
the Sex, that school for touch, for taste

remembered how to seize and cling
to the largest and the keenest of

the branches filled with sun-bleached
sun-lit true.

Marjorie R. Becker is a Macon, Georgia native and the author of Setting the Virgin on Fire: Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán Peasants and the Redemption of the Mexican Revolution (UC Press, 1996); the forthcoming Dancing on the Sun Stone: Mexican Women and the Gendered Politics of Octavio Paz (University of New Mexico Press, 2022); and the poetry collections Body Bach (2005), Glass Piano/Piano Glass (2010,) and The Macon Sex School: Songs of Tenderness and Resistance (2020), all published by Tebot Bach.

Jordi Alonso holds degrees in English literature from Kenyon College (AB ’14) Stony Brook University (MFA ’16) and the University of Missouri (PhD ’21). He is currently a Classical Studies MA student at Columbia University. Honeyvoiced, his first book, was published by XOXOX Press in 2014 and his chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook, was published by Red Flag Poetry Press in 2017. His work appears in Kenyon Review Online, Banyan Review, Levure Littéraire, and other journals. Follow him on Twitter @nymphscholar or get to know his work at jordialonsopoet.com

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