The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Jordi Alonso, is from Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass, released by Diode Editions in 2022.

How to Make Pancakes for a Dead Boy

                        content warning for suicide

First, crack the egg
into a sinkhole of grief.
Measure the ingredients,
then stir, until the lumps
no longer resemble bullets.

Try not to see him
standing at your side
at age six,
front teeth missing,
pulling on your sleeve
to whisper with a grin:
Auntie, please add
extra chocolate chips.

Run the electric beaters
until you can no longer hear
his voice as a toddler
or the snap and boom
of his first and last shot.

Pour the batter
onto the griddle.
While the pancakes rise,
read his suicide note again.
Try to make sense of it
and get nowhere.

Cut the pancakes
into bite-sized pieces.
Sweeten the plate
as you scream.

Joan Kwon Glass‘ first full-length poetry collection, Night Swim, won the 2021 Diode Editions Book Contest. She is the author of the chapbooks How to Make Pancakes for a Dead Boy (Harbor Editions, 2022) and If Rust Can Grow on the Moon (Milk & Cake Press, 2022). In 2021 she was a runner-up for the Sundress Publications Chapbook Contest, a finalist for the Harbor Review Editor’s Prize, the Subnivean Award and the Lumiere Review Writing Contest. Joan is a graduate of Smith College and serves as Poet Laureate for the city of Milford, CT and as poetry co-editor for West Trestle Review. She has spent the past 20 years as an educator in the Connecticut public schools. Her poems have recently been published or are forthcoming in diodeThe RuptureNelleRattlePirene’s Fountain, SWWIM, Dialogist, South Florida Poetry JournalHoney LiteraryMom Egg, Rust + Moth, Lantern Review and many others. Joan has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

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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