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.

Double Helix

                        content warning for dysphoria, body image and appearance

I am growing thick in the middle again,
		an avalanche over the waistband.
Those pounds I strong-willed away,
		unwelcomed back into newly upholstered
cells. A scale is unnecessary. Last summer’s
		clothes now grab my breasts and thighs
with graceless but determined ardor.
		My corduroys brush and spark.
Strict exceptions become the reckless rules.
		The last pastry or bread slice becomes a second
or third. What am I trying to feed?
		How I green-eye marvel at those women
who sit straight-backed and cross-legged in simple
		chairs, effortless as their unlabored breathing.
My lumbering limbs wince and blush.
		Such slender tenderness my body
has never known. Where to rest when your nest
		of skin feels cold as wintergreen dusk? I think
of my parents riding under the weight
		of themselves, careening down
demented diabetic roads, bread-crumbed days
		spent wiped and bathed as their bodies surrender
to decades of excessive hunting and gathering.
		My sleep plays hopscotch, each night falling
further from the last. I’ve lost count of the recurring
		dream where a black bear, rearing full height
upon its hind legs, swings inadequate claws
		at a half-hearted moon. All through these nights
of humorless stars, I hear bits of life cry out, each skating
		their separate darkness: a heron’s snapped wing,
a loon’s lonely wail, my burdened bones. 

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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