The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Shade of Blue Trees by Kelly Cressio-Moeller

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Jordi Alonso, is from Shade of Blue Trees by Kelly Cressio-Moeller, released by Two Sylvias Press in 2021.


Dear Penelope, do you now sleep among the catacombs?

Scarves of white drift over the Aegean—an altar of bottomless blue.

I have gone to the edge of the world and still cannot find you.

Even the olive trees raise their spangled limbs skyward in longing.

Mother Earth slides her abacus beads, conjures storms quick as curses.

When lightning struck, did the boat protect or beckon the bolt?

Island flowers shut their eyes only when the stars disrobe—hope and sorrow held
within the same root.

She imagines him bright-toothed and swarthy, but her husband is just sunburned
and homesick.

So many suitors holding her skeins—she’s woven a trail for her waylaid mariner,
long as his beard and her undoing.

In twenty years, she has never asked, What shall I wish for myself?

Odysseus wonders, Do I have the right to return?

Maids cast offerings to the sea: red rose petals and grape leaves—
love and wine all that remain.

Kelly Cressio-Moeller is a poet and visual artist. Her poems have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best New Poets, and Best of the Net, and have appeared widely in journals and at literary websites including Gargoyle, North American Review, Poet Lore, Salamander, THRUSH Poetry Journal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Water~Stone Review, and ZYZZYVA, among others. An associate editor at Glass Lyre Press, she lives in the Bay Area. Shade of Blue Trees from Two Sylvias Press (Finalist for the Wilder Prize) is her first poetry collection.

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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