The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: We Know Each Other By Our Wounds by Jude Marr

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Kirsten Kowalewski, is from We Know Each Other By Our Wounds by June Marr, released by Animal Heart Press in 2020.

Horticulture As a Cure for Loneliness

planted a maple in a pot (fired-clay, turquoise-glazed): the maple
pushed out
leaves (brilliant, vermilion): I watered, I watched—

then, just as vermilion brilliance peaked, my maple began
to grieve: leaves like spiders—small, brown
spiders, dead
in dusty corners—spider-leaves, desiccated

stoic maple, naked now, a geometry of leaflessness: you can’t
bend your branches: you can’t
							hide your nakedness: your root-ball
							(confined inside clay)
			can’t unfurl—

were you lonely, your dark roots entombed in turquoise?

but if I had set you free, let your roots
tunnel under my high, whitewashed wall, what conditional
could you have had, so far
from a maple forest?

should I have watered you more?

Jude Marr (they, them) is a Pushcart-nominated nonbinary poet. Jude’s first full-length collection, We Know Each Other By Our Wounds, came out from Animal Heart Press in 2020. Recent work appears in Leavings, Icefloe Press’s Work and the AnthropoceneBoats Against the Current, and Moria. Jude is currently on the masthead at SWWIM Miami and Poetry is Currency, and works as an editor with freelance clients in both the US and the UK.

Kirsten Kowalewski is the editor for online horror fiction review resource Monster Librarian. She has an MLS and a specialist certificate in school library media from Indiana University, has worked as a children’s librarian and elementary school media specialist, and is a lifelong reader.


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