The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: God Themselves by Jae Nichelle

This selection, chosen by guest editor Katie Manning, is from 
God Themselves by Jae Nichelle, released by Simon & Schuster in 2023.

A Book Reminds Me I’ve Known Joy

I know love because I have turned the page
of this borrowed book to find a stain of maybe ketchup

or another bright food & I am holding something someone
would not even let go of to eat

I have laughed so hard at a joke I had to clutch a table
for balance         I have smiled so hard I removed

my glasses to make room for my cheeks         I have been so
overwhelmed with gratitude I pulled the car

over & cried at the wheel         I do not have to guess
what it feels like to be this book, admired,

invested in dearly         I have been so tenderly held

Tomorrow, will you remind me? I have been so
tenderly held

Jae Nichelle is the author of the poetry chapbook The Porch (As Sanctuary) from YesYes Books; the inaugural poetry winner of the John Lewis Writing Award from the Georgia Writers Association; and her poetry has appeared in Best New Poets 2020, The Washington Square Review, The Offing Magazine, Muzzle Magazine, and elsewhere. Her spoken word poems have been featured by Write About Now, Speak Up Poetry Series, and Button Poetry.

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.


Leave a Reply