The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: about:blank by Tracy Fuad

This selection, chosen by guest editor JJ Rowan, is from about:blank by Tracy Fuad, released by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2022.

Terms of Syllogism

I was sure that being in between meant being nowhere.
Certain there were scissors that could cut me off the grid.

I hoped there was a key, but was sure the void was serious,
virulent and spreading. I was sure alone, most of the time.

And surely, right on some accounts, a logic that left me
pounding. Was intimacy, by nature, grotesque?

Those intimate with me were divided. Where was I,
young and running with my mother in a drenching rain?

Sometimes all that's left of what I've lived is cinema, kinetic
and anonymous, like it could have been anyone's memory.

The ambulance carrying my father at three in the morning struck
and killed a black bear. The beast wore death's fur in my father's place,

had to be hauled off the ribbon of road before the vehicle
could pass. I know there is a door in the exact shape of my body.

That when I go through, I will know by how acutely it licks
my perimeter. On the phone, my mother tells me,

island. That is where I'll go when I'm gone. Be certain,
I tell myself, to be ready for the door when it opens.

Tracy Fuad is a 2023 NEA Fellow and the author of about:blankwinner of the 2020 Donald Hall Prize. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, POETRY Magazine, The Yale Review, and she is also the author of three chapbooks: PITH, DAD DAD DAD DAD DAD DAD DAD, and Body of Water 2. She lives with her family in Berlin, where she teaches poetry at the Berlin Writers’ Workshop.

JJ Rowan (they/them) is a queer nonbinary writer and dancer. Their poems, not-poems, and interactive performances have appeared in the tiny, Dream Pop Journal, 45th Parallel, and at the SMOL Fair and the Splinter Collective’s Interrupted by Trains, among others. Their most recent chapbook is a simple verb (Bloof Books). They are on the editorial team at just femme & dandyYou can sign up for their newsletter, actual motion, at their website.

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