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.


I grow among the bitterness of brambles,
unholy desires of fireweed, the silver plan
of hornets. I grow among a gathering
of gladiolas, swelling crowns
of bee-balm, blushes
of the scentless, the psychoses
of roses. I feel the fevers
of lilies, peer inside the freckled throats
of foxgloves. I listen
to the impatience of asters,
the hum of milkweed, troubles
of the snowball flowers,
ginger syllables of zinnias. My loves
lean toward my evergreen, for what
I will remember. I will

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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