The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: One Way to Listen by Asa Drake

This selection, chosen by guest editor Sarah Clark, is from One Way to Listen by Asa Drake, released by Gold Line Press in 2022.

When A Man Sleeps with My Effigy

Another insists my best protection is property
survey flags, annexed easements, an exterior
not given over to motion. In the aisles
of the early 2000s, I would not have anticipated
my house dress going viral, thus selling out,
thus becoming so ubiquitous to dress an effigy.
A man shows me his purchase and explains
he has named it after me. Do I say this is not my body?
If that is not enough, I go inside, house myself
in accumulation so precious as to have survived
eight apartments. Wrap my actual body in knife pleats
set each week by a lover’s hand. Shimmy
into inherited brocade, smocked stiff as the grave.
This is not to say an effigy cannot be made,
but what is a body rendered without detail,
and I am a woman who hates to be naked.

Asa Drake is a Filipina American poet and writer in Central Florida. She has received fellowships and awards from the 92Y Discovery Poetry Contest, Tin House and Idyllwild Arts. Her chapbook, One Way to Listen (2023), was selected by Taneum Bambrick as the winner of Gold Line Press’s 2021 Poetry Chapbook Contest. Her most recent poems can be found in The American Poetry Review, Michigan Quarterly Review: Mixtape and Waxwing.

Sarah Clark is a mad crip genderfuck two-spirit enrolled Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at ANMLY, Editor-in-Chief at ALOCASIA: a journal of queer plant-based writing, Co-Editor of The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2024) and the Bettering American Poetry series, and a current Board member and Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications. They have edited folios for publications including the GLITTERBRAIN folio and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms at ANMLY. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations, including the Best of the Net anthology, contemptorary, Curious Specimens, #PoetsResist at Glass Poetry, Apogee Journal, Blackbird, the Paris Review, and elsewhere.


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