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.

Elegy for my Sister’s Journals

                        content warning for suicide

When the policeman handed me
your journal in the evidence bag,
I left it there unread, claiming some small
victory in refusing your final words.
And when the psychic at a party claimed
to have a message for me from you,
I shook my head and said no thank you.
A year after your death I awoke to your fist,
urgent, banging against my bedroom door.
I could have opened it, could have given you
the chance to unburden yourself.
Maybe after I listened,
you would finally have left me alone.
The truth is, all of this this could just be my
strange way of taking a stand: my sister is gone
and no ghost can take her place.
Can you see me, here writing this poem
brooding in our childhood bedroom,
stuffed animals smiling stupidly from the dresser?
I’m staring unblinking at the scorched doors
the way a child does when sulking.
Keep your journal and your fist.
Instead give me the bag in which you took
your last breath, the film that lifted away
from your cheeks, cheeks I once
compared to winter apples.
Give me the last thing you laid eyes on:
vase of fake flowers on the nightstand,
your daughter’s photo on your home screen,
the window sealed shut from the inside.

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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