The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: This Body I Have Tried to Write by Ja’net Danielo

This selection, chosen by Guest Leslie Rzeznik, is from This Body I Have Tried to Write by Ja'net Danielo, released by Mayday in 2022.
Image of poem "The First Restraint was the Body," right-justified aligned, with short, spacious lines.

text of poem

THE FIRST RESTRAINT WAS THE BODY, how     it     could     never  be horses or mist, its bone			vocabulary— femur,        clavicle,         the     turn away           &           revert  back     of      vertebra—heavy in     the     mouth.     Cabal  of   cells,   speakeasies   in   the  velvet     red     of     blood.  A  secret  door,  secret  knock, the       secret       password  just   out   of   earshot.   How   it stepped     out,     looking     for some  green  field  of  anywhere else.     How,     not     horses or   mist,   it   returned   again &      again,     pulled     you to its blood & bone ache, held  you close, just would not let go. 

Ja’net Danielo is the author of This Body I Have Tried to Writewinner of the MAYDAY 2022 Poetry Micro Chapbook Editors’ Choice Award, and The Song of Our Disappearing (Paper Nautilus, 2021). A recipient of a Professional Artist Fellowship from the Arts Council for Long Beach and the Telluride Institute’s Fischer Prize, her poems have appeared in Frontier PoetryMid-American Review, GASHER, Radar Poetry, and elsewhere. Originally from Queens, NY, Ja’net teaches at Cerritos College and lives in Long Beach, CA, where she facilitates Word Women, a free virtual poetry workshop for cancer patients and survivors.

Leslie Rzeznik lives in southeast Michigan. She earned her BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and won The Academy of American Poets prize in 2013. Her work has appeared in AlyssBone BouquetSling Magazine, Willawaw Journal, and Bear River Review.

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