The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: If I Could Write You a Happier Ending by Mary Warren Foulk

This selection, chosen by guest editor Jillian Fantin, is from If I Could Write You a Happier Ending by Mary Warren Foulk, released by dancing girl press in 2021.

How to Mourn a Brother

—after Anne Pinkerton’s “Having a Dead Sibling is Full of Contradictions”
Worry about your own death

Return to the scene

Make your bed               hospital corners

Sit in his empty chair

Visit the grave site

Create a shrine

Remember each birthday

Wonder why

Count the days          months          years

Look up          often     the cloudless sky

Enjoy his favorite places

Post pictures on social media

Relive those hours

Medicate to sleep

Share your favorite memories          with your children

Beg them not to forget

Love     still


Open heart

Will     my heart

other loved ones

look for ghosts

some days        your only salvation

feel guilty if you forget


decades since


keep his memory alive

panic at the lack of recall

fantasize his smell

with anyone who will listen

even after you're gone


close heart

stay open

Mary Warren Foulk has been published in Fjords Review, The Hollins Critic, Pine Hills Review, Palette Poetry, Silkworm, and Steam Ticket, among other publications. Her work also has appeared in (M)othering Anthology (Inanna Publications), and My Loves: A Digital Anthology of Queer Love Poems (Ghost City Press). Her chapbook, If I Could Write You a Happier Ending, was selected by dancing girl press (2021) for their annual series featuring women poets. Her manuscript Self-Portrait with Erosion was a finalist for the 2021 Gival Press Poetry Award.

Jillian A. Fantin is a writer with roots in the American South and north central England. They are a 2023 Sundress Publications Editorial Intern, a 2021 Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Poet Fellow, and a 2020 Jefferson County Memorial Project Research Fellow. With writer Joy Wilkoff, they co-founded and edit RENESME LITERARY. Jillian’s debut chapbook, A Playdough Symposium, will be released this coming summer from Ghost City Press, and more of their writing appears in American Journal of Poetry, Homology Lit, Tilted House, Spectra Poets, Barrelhouse, and, among others.


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