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.


Who among us hasn’t wanted 
	to kill the sweetest thing? Lick 

smoke & nut from our teeth, then rush 
	that hive to take what’s ours, gorge 

on sticky spoils? We are only rust-gold 
	& bright for so long, thorax 

of wing & unclaimed sky. And we’re 
	so tired of sucking the sap, bark- 

parched lips making do with 
	sugar scraps. And we’ve got 

so many mouths to feed. They burrow 
	inside the dark of our spleen, open 

tiny, pincer-like jaws. Who hasn’t felt 
	that aching maw begging 

more, more? And who wouldn’t 
	risk it—thick, winged vibration, 

fire-heat of slick abdomen—to be 
	the danger again, a threat, red- 

hot harm burning alive 
	in the eye of the swarm?

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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