The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Self-Portrait with Thorns by Gail Goepfert

This selection, chosen by guest editor Amber Alexander, is from Self-Portrait with Thorns by Gail Goepfert, released by Glass Lyre Press in 2021.

Dear Frail Dark

I fold
		myself into the lap
		of he who would be
				my Lord of Love
		I welcome
the la and fa of larksong
		the aah of surprise
				come to salvage me
						from him     from myself
		let the warbles oil the air
				for flight

				I’m pinioned by need
						my own     his

		lying heavy
on every dahlia’ed wisp of hair I pin up
				I should leave him
		how it disturbs me
				our futile love     un-haloed
I could be half again as much
				and still     not be

the greedy fork he lifts to his lips
		this love-hoarder
				eating me alive

Gail Goepfert is an ardent poet, photographer, and teacher.  She’s an associate editor of RHINO Poetry and teaches classes online at National Louis University. She is the author of This Hard Business of Living (Seven Kitchens Press, 2021) and Self-Portrait with Thorns (Glass Lyre Press, 2021), as well as other chapbooks and full-length books. Recent poem publications appear in After Hours, The Examined Life Journal, Night Heron Barks, Inflectionist Review, and Rogue Agent. She lives, writes, and snaps photos in the Chicagoland area.

Amber Alexander, who publishes creative work as e. holloway, is a poet based in Ohio. They currently work in higher education and as an Assistant Editor for Best Of The Net within Sundress Publications. Alexander is a former Editorial Intern for Sundress Publications, former Editorial Board Member for Cornfield Review, and was a Sundress Academy for The Arts Writing Resident in 2023. Their work has been published by Cornfield Review and earned multiple awards during undergrad at The Ohio State University.

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