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.

They Could In Fact Have Grown Another Plot, Another Way

“Play ripe the dawn,” he said,
when yesterday I sensed the golden,

raw gardenia note, I sang it there
within the breeze of patience since

my people, we are Jewish
huddled in a southern town

that never much enjoyed our raw
and ripe excursions into sense

and beauty but the black and Christian man I knew 
so long ago reminded me that 

there were ways to kiss, to place,
to seize a mound of grass, of wild

and luscious scent, “gardenias in the mist”
he said again, within the midst

of song and naked noon, we made
a sort of clock he said that scared

the flower broken, instant broken,
it turned to him and me for laughter once

I plied and played, began to pray
for color’s calm extravagance,

experience, just how and why the
flowers bothered there and then and

once again to truly trust and
also I would say, engage

a sense of presence raw
with melody.

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


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