The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Body Not My Own by Tanque R. Jones

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Kirsten Kowalewski, is from Body Not My Own by Tanque R. Jones, released by Wayne State University Press in 2021.

content warning for slavery and violence


I hang around the kitchen to get a taste
in black tea, with a piece of bread
or just a quick spoonful to get rid of me
Mama Ruth says
even the Lord’s most spiteful creatures
can be worth some good
the bees don’t terrify her anymore
she’s accustomed to their dangerous hover
the knowledge they can strike
at any moment without reason
when they wound
she pulls out the stinger and works on
take whatever good you can find in the bad
it can heal
she uses some to make cakes and for bitter fruit
the rest for lashed backs

Tanque R. Jones earned an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her second poetry collection, Body Not My Own, was the winner of the 2021 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. In 2016, WordTech published her first book of poems Woman in Transition. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Salamander, Progenitor Art & Literary Journal, and Clackamas Literary Review.

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.

Leave a Reply