The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Dearest Water by Nancy Takacs

This selection, chosen by guest editor Shlagha Borah, is from Dearest Water by Nancy Takacs, released by Mayapple Press in 2021.

Fossil Fish

each an eye-shape
with the half-shine
of a fingernail
over blue spines,
faces pointed
in the life that has
become them,
harbored in mud they
couldn’t swim out of,
sideways in the last
of that warm sea
dried up a million
years ago. If my
mother were alive
and here with me,
she would think
of the inlet where
she and my father
brought a bucket
of killies, some days
they baited their lines,
and never argued.

Nancy Takacs’s poetry awards include The Juniper Prize, the 2018 and 2016 15 Bytes Book Award for Poetry, Weber’s Sherwin W. Howard Award, a 2020 Pushcart Prize, and a runner-up for the Missouri Review Editor’s Prize. She is the author of three other books of poetry and four chapbooks. Nancy lives most of the year in the high-desert town of Wellington, Utah, and spends time in Bayfield, Wisconsin, near the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, in a small cabin with her husband, poet Jan Minich. Their son Ian Minich is a photographer in Salt Lake City. Nancy is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Utah’s art hub: Helper City.

Shlagha Borah (she/her) is a poet from Assam, India. Her work appears in Salamander, Nashville Review, Identity Theory, Longleaf Review, Variant Literature, Rogue Agent, and elsewhere. She is pursuing an MFA in Poetry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is an Associate Poetry Editor at Grist. She has received support for her work from Brooklyn Poets and Sundress Academy for the Arts. She is the co-founder of Pink Freud, a student-led collective working towards making mental health accessible in India.


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