The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Bath by Jen Silverman

This selection, chosen by guest editor Katie Manning, is from Bath by Jen Silverman, released by Driftwood Press in 2022.

Bath 7


That winter, the roof fell in
during one long dinner. All of us

drenched in dust and wine.
When the chaos subsided, we examined the hole.

You thought it was a great improvement.
“Like a skylight,” you said.

You give me half your bed, we sleep like sisters,
orange duvet, animals of solace.

When we cook, the house heats
with lentils and turmeric, crusty bread.

When we dance, your neighbors come over;
the surgeon can salsa, he spins us one by one.

Tea leaves accumulate, abandoned mugs
divine themselves.

It was lonelier, in my other life
but it was a thing I made.

I wear your sweaters as the air tightens.
When I walk alone at night, I become

pure Libra, each hand cupped
on a different set of promises.

The trolley clattering past in the night,
the old windows creaking, a pharmacy of shampoo bottles

lining the bathroom window.
When I shower, you sit on the floor,

only steam between us.

Jen Silverman is a New York-based writer and playwright. Jen is the author of the debut novel We Play Ourselves and the story collection The Island Dwellers (Random House) which was longlisted for a PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. Additional work has appeared in Vogue, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Sun, and elsewhere. Jen’s plays have been produced across the United States and internationally. Jen is a three-time MacDowell Colony fellow, a member of New Dramatists, and the recipient of an NEA Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, the Yale Drama Series Award, and a Playwrights of New York Fellowship. Jen also writes for TV and film.

Katie Manning is the author of Hereverent (Agape Editions), Tasty Other (winner of the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award), and six chapbook collections, including How to Play (Louisiana Literature Press) and 28,065 Nights (River Glass Books). Her poem “What to Expect” was featured on the Poetry Unbound podcast, and her poems have appeared in HAD, Poet Lore, SWWIM, Stirring, Thimble, Verse Daily, and many other venues. Katie is the founder and editor-in-chief of Whale Road Review and a professor of writing at Point Loma Nazarene University.


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