The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Her Kind by Cindy Veach


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Kirsten Kowalewski, is from Her Kind by Cindy Veach, released by CavanKerry Press in 2021.

He Punishes Me with Flowers

		Knowing they’re my favorite, 
he brings 
red gerberas to the settlement meeting.

		Guilt schleps them back to my apartment. 
Guilt places them in the living room.
I can barely look at them 

		on the borrowed coffee table. 
Watch how I avert my eyes 
when I walk by.
 
		I decide to help them die. 
Withhold water. Resist 
investigating the stems 

		for telltale signs of rot. 
They were scarlet. 
Now they’re darker. They’re dried- 

		up blood. They sit there 
and insinuate.

Cindy Veach is the author of Her Kind (CavanKerry Press) a finalist for the 2022 Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal, Gloved Against Blood (CavanKerry Press), a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and a Massachusetts Center for the Book ‘Must Read,’ and the chapbook, Innocents (Nixes Mate). Her poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-DayAGNI, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poet Lore and Salamander among othersCindy is the recipient of the Philip Booth Poetry Prize and the Samuel Allen Washington Prize. She is co-poetry editor of MER (Mom Egg Review). 

Kirsten Kowalewski is the editor for online horror fiction review resource Monster Librarian. She has an MLS and a specialist certificate in school library media from Indiana University, has worked as a children’s librarian and elementary school media specialist, and is a lifelong reader.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Her Kind by Cindy Veach


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Kirsten Kowalewski, is from Her Kind by Cindy Veach, released by CavanKerry Press in 2021.

Reasons You Might Have Been
Accused of Being a Witch in 1692

You are a woman. You are middle-aged.
You have an extra nipple, mole, freckle
(or basically any other mark on your body).
You stumble over your words.

You have an extra nipple, mole, freckle.
When asked to say a prayer
you stumble over the words.
You are married but don’t have children.

When asked to say a prayer
you are the envy of other people.
You are married but don’t have enough children.
You associate with someone suspected of witchcraft.

You are the envy of other people.
You are perceived as bitchy.
You associate with someone suspected of witchcraft.
Your milk spoiled.

You are perceived as bitchy.
You are of low status.
Your milk spoiled
(or anything vaguely negative happened to or around you).

You are of low status.
You have any mark on your body.
Your milk spoiled.
You are a woman. You are middle-aged.

Cindy Veach is the author of Her Kind (CavanKerry Press) a finalist for the 2022 Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal, Gloved Against Blood (CavanKerry Press), a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and a Massachusetts Center for the Book ‘Must Read,’ and the chapbook, Innocents (Nixes Mate). Her poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-DayAGNI, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poet Lore and Salamander among othersCindy is the recipient of the Philip Booth Poetry Prize and the Samuel Allen Washington Prize. She is co-poetry editor of MER (Mom Egg Review). 

Kirsten Kowalewski is the editor for online horror fiction review resource Monster Librarian. She has an MLS and a specialist certificate in school library media from Indiana University, has worked as a children’s librarian and elementary school media specialist, and is a lifelong reader.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Her Kind by Cindy Veach


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Kirsten Kowalewski, is from Her Kind by Cindy Veach, released by CavanKerry Press in 2021.

Margaret Scott of Children Lost

Hanged, 1962

I knocked on doors. Asked 
		for coins for corn. 
				Each time I thought

I could not 
		but each time hunger 
				stole my tongue— 

Please, may I gleane corn 
		in your felld? Daniel Wycomb, you would not 
				part with any ears.

Guilt, not me, is the reason 
		that ye oxen would not goe forward: 
				but backward with the load of corn.

Look at me— 
		a widow for so long 
				I’ve forgotten his face

but not the faces 
		of every child I lost. 
				They say I lost too many

and must hang 
		for this and sundry other Acts 
				of Witchcraft.

Cindy Veach is the author of Her Kind (CavanKerry Press) a finalist for the 2022 Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal, Gloved Against Blood (CavanKerry Press), a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and a Massachusetts Center for the Book ‘Must Read,’ and the chapbook, Innocents (Nixes Mate). Her poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-DayAGNI, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poet Lore and Salamander among othersCindy is the recipient of the Philip Booth Poetry Prize and the Samuel Allen Washington Prize. She is co-poetry editor of MER (Mom Egg Review). 

Kirsten Kowalewski is the editor for online horror fiction review resource Monster Librarian. She has an MLS and a specialist certificate in school library media from Indiana University, has worked as a children’s librarian and elementary school media specialist, and is a lifelong reader.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Jordi Alonso, is from Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass, released by Diode Editions in 2022.

I Ask the Pearl Diver to Bring you Back from the Dead

The 해녀 waddles toward the Jeju coast in her flippers
and wetsuit armor, adjusts her diving mask,
flashes me the peace sign and takes the plunge.

In the meantime, the other divers start a fire on the beach.
They squat and warm their hands as I pace and try to catch
a glimpse of you breaking the water’s surface.

One of them calls me over to share her abalone.
Another tries to distract me with the baby octopus that squirms
in her hand, writhes as though about to transform.

Soon the 해녀 calls my name, waves in victory,
and there you are! Not the sad, quiet child I remember,
but muscular and lean, with darker hair: a man of 25

with a brave face and playful eyes. You swim toward me,
race the 해녀, and she gives you a run for your money.
You look up at me like a field of canola opening in the sun.

When you pull yourself up onto the rocks, I embrace
your glossy body, and weep the way I did when you were born.
The stilled volcano at Hallasan rumbles.

I whisper How long do we have? to no one in particular.
The other 해녀 applaud and chant your name,
mostly for our benefit. They see this all the time:

the creatures that grief pulls from deep, airless places,
offering bright, wild treasures, even a version of the dead
we are desperate to meet.

Ribbons of seaweed blossom at our feet and nearby
mollusks spin sand into pearls.
Every darkness we bear hides such small mercies.

Joan Kwon Glass‘ first full-length poetry collection, Night Swim, won the 2021 Diode Editions Book Contest. She is the author of the chapbooks How to Make Pancakes for a Dead Boy (Harbor Editions, 2022) and If Rust Can Grow on the Moon (Milk & Cake Press, 2022). In 2021 she was a runner-up for the Sundress Publications Chapbook Contest, a finalist for the Harbor Review Editor’s Prize, the Subnivean Award and the Lumiere Review Writing Contest. Joan is a graduate of Smith College and serves as Poet Laureate for the city of Milford, CT and as poetry co-editor for West Trestle Review. She has spent the past 20 years as an educator in the Connecticut public schools. Her poems have recently been published or are forthcoming in diodeThe RuptureNelleRattlePirene’s Fountain, SWWIM, Dialogist, South Florida Poetry JournalHoney LiteraryMom Egg, Rust + Moth, Lantern Review and many others. Joan has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

Jordi Alonso holds degrees in English literature from Kenyon College (AB ’14) Stony Brook University (MFA ’16) and the University of Missouri (PhD ’21). He is currently a Classical Studies MA student at Columbia University. Honeyvoiced, his first book, was published by XOXOX Press in 2014 and his chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook, was published by Red Flag Poetry Press in 2017. His work appears in Kenyon Review Online, Banyan Review, Levure Littéraire, and other journals. Follow him on Twitter @nymphscholar or get to know his work at jordialonsopoet.com

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Jordi Alonso, is from Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass, released by Diode Editions in 2022.

Chambered Nautilus

The shell…blends in with the darkness of the sea, and when seen from
below…blends in with the light coming from above.


               Wikipedia on the chambered nautilus

A woman sits up weary in her nightdress,
holds her knees, dying in bed,
a basket of thread unspooling beside her.
She turns toward the window and by the way light
floods the glass we assume she gazes out onto the sea.
At the foot of the bed the chambered nautilus waits.

The dying woman, Wyeth’s mother-in-law,
has remained with me through half my life:
two divorces, three children grown,
the carrying on after unbearable loss.
The old woman whose face I wouldn’t recognize
does not bear witness but she never leaves me.
The morning I found out that my sister was gone
the old woman watched the ocean chip away at the shore.

20 years ago, my sister stood beside me when I bought this print.
We were visiting the Wyeth homestead in Maine, promised
each other we would meet here again someday
when we were old and love had failed us.
Christine was her pick, a woman crawling and reaching
for home, her numb legs dragging behind her,
pointer finger raised and wavering like a broken compass.
I chose Chambered Nautilus. No longing for arrival,
just a turning away from the room where your life will end
and toward whatever light the world still holds.

Joan Kwon Glass‘ first full-length poetry collection, Night Swim, won the 2021 Diode Editions Book Contest. She is the author of the chapbooks How to Make Pancakes for a Dead Boy (Harbor Editions, 2022) and If Rust Can Grow on the Moon (Milk & Cake Press, 2022). In 2021 she was a runner-up for the Sundress Publications Chapbook Contest, a finalist for the Harbor Review Editor’s Prize, the Subnivean Award and the Lumiere Review Writing Contest. Joan is a graduate of Smith College and serves as Poet Laureate for the city of Milford, CT and as poetry co-editor for West Trestle Review. She has spent the past 20 years as an educator in the Connecticut public schools. Her poems have recently been published or are forthcoming in diodeThe RuptureNelleRattlePirene’s Fountain, SWWIM, Dialogist, South Florida Poetry JournalHoney LiteraryMom Egg, Rust + Moth, Lantern Review and many others. Joan has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

Jordi Alonso holds degrees in English literature from Kenyon College (AB ’14) Stony Brook University (MFA ’16) and the University of Missouri (PhD ’21). He is currently a Classical Studies MA student at Columbia University. Honeyvoiced, his first book, was published by XOXOX Press in 2014 and his chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook, was published by Red Flag Poetry Press in 2017. His work appears in Kenyon Review Online, Banyan Review, Levure Littéraire, and other journals. Follow him on Twitter @nymphscholar or get to know his work at jordialonsopoet.com

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Jordi Alonso, is from Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass, released by Diode Editions in 2022.

Chuseok 추석

Today my uncle and his wife will visit
my grandparents’ tomb in Korea
the way they do every year.
They will leave trays stacked high
with persimmons and powdered tteok
then say a Christian prayer as the wind
stirs everything into wakefulness.
On 추석 we remember the rise of the Silla,
kingdom of gold crowns with jade
carved and dangling like grapes.
We celebrate three centuries of unity,
North and South, dead and living together.
We salute the rising moon.
I think of my nephew’s grave in Troy, Michigan,
7,400 miles from my grandparents’ tomb,
his headstone flush to the ground.
Every time it rains the water floats trash
down from the street nearby:
a cigarette box, crumpled Burger King cups,
plastic bags torn like the skin of ravaged prey.
If I could go back I would claim a summit
and build him a tomb.
I would set a Silla crown upon his head.
Every year, I’d bring gifts and invite the wind
into the tomb where his skeletal jaws
hang wide open forever
trying to say one last thing.

Joan Kwon Glass‘ first full-length poetry collection, Night Swim, won the 2021 Diode Editions Book Contest. She is the author of the chapbooks How to Make Pancakes for a Dead Boy (Harbor Editions, 2022) and If Rust Can Grow on the Moon (Milk & Cake Press, 2022). In 2021 she was a runner-up for the Sundress Publications Chapbook Contest, a finalist for the Harbor Review Editor’s Prize, the Subnivean Award and the Lumiere Review Writing Contest. Joan is a graduate of Smith College and serves as Poet Laureate for the city of Milford, CT and as poetry co-editor for West Trestle Review. She has spent the past 20 years as an educator in the Connecticut public schools. Her poems have recently been published or are forthcoming in diodeThe RuptureNelleRattlePirene’s Fountain, SWWIM, Dialogist, South Florida Poetry JournalHoney LiteraryMom Egg, Rust + Moth, Lantern Review and many others. Joan has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

Jordi Alonso holds degrees in English literature from Kenyon College (AB ’14) Stony Brook University (MFA ’16) and the University of Missouri (PhD ’21). He is currently a Classical Studies MA student at Columbia University. Honeyvoiced, his first book, was published by XOXOX Press in 2014 and his chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook, was published by Red Flag Poetry Press in 2017. His work appears in Kenyon Review Online, Banyan Review, Levure Littéraire, and other journals. Follow him on Twitter @nymphscholar or get to know his work at jordialonsopoet.com

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Jordi Alonso, is from Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass, released by Diode Editions in 2022.

Elegy for my Sister’s Journals

                        content warning for suicide

When the policeman handed me
your journal in the evidence bag,
I left it there unread, claiming some small
victory in refusing your final words.
And when the psychic at a party claimed
to have a message for me from you,
I shook my head and said no thank you.
A year after your death I awoke to your fist,
urgent, banging against my bedroom door.
I could have opened it, could have given you
the chance to unburden yourself.
Maybe after I listened,
you would finally have left me alone.
The truth is, all of this this could just be my
strange way of taking a stand: my sister is gone
and no ghost can take her place.
Can you see me, here writing this poem
brooding in our childhood bedroom,
stuffed animals smiling stupidly from the dresser?
I’m staring unblinking at the scorched doors
the way a child does when sulking.
Keep your journal and your fist.
Instead give me the bag in which you took
your last breath, the film that lifted away
from your cheeks, cheeks I once
compared to winter apples.
Give me the last thing you laid eyes on:
vase of fake flowers on the nightstand,
your daughter’s photo on your home screen,
the window sealed shut from the inside.

Joan Kwon Glass‘ first full-length poetry collection, Night Swim, won the 2021 Diode Editions Book Contest. She is the author of the chapbooks How to Make Pancakes for a Dead Boy (Harbor Editions, 2022) and If Rust Can Grow on the Moon (Milk & Cake Press, 2022). In 2021 she was a runner-up for the Sundress Publications Chapbook Contest, a finalist for the Harbor Review Editor’s Prize, the Subnivean Award and the Lumiere Review Writing Contest. Joan is a graduate of Smith College and serves as Poet Laureate for the city of Milford, CT and as poetry co-editor for West Trestle Review. She has spent the past 20 years as an educator in the Connecticut public schools. Her poems have recently been published or are forthcoming in diodeThe RuptureNelleRattlePirene’s Fountain, SWWIM, Dialogist, South Florida Poetry JournalHoney LiteraryMom Egg, Rust + Moth, Lantern Review and many others. Joan has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

Jordi Alonso holds degrees in English literature from Kenyon College (AB ’14) Stony Brook University (MFA ’16) and the University of Missouri (PhD ’21). He is currently a Classical Studies MA student at Columbia University. Honeyvoiced, his first book, was published by XOXOX Press in 2014 and his chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook, was published by Red Flag Poetry Press in 2017. His work appears in Kenyon Review Online, Banyan Review, Levure Littéraire, and other journals. Follow him on Twitter @nymphscholar or get to know his work at jordialonsopoet.com

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Jordi Alonso, is from Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass, released by Diode Editions in 2022.

How to Make Pancakes for a Dead Boy

                        content warning for suicide

First, crack the egg
into a sinkhole of grief.
Measure the ingredients,
then stir, until the lumps
no longer resemble bullets.

Try not to see him
standing at your side
at age six,
front teeth missing,
pulling on your sleeve
to whisper with a grin:
Auntie, please add
extra chocolate chips.

Run the electric beaters
until you can no longer hear
his voice as a toddler
or the snap and boom
of his first and last shot.

Pour the batter
onto the griddle.
While the pancakes rise,
read his suicide note again.
Try to make sense of it
and get nowhere.

Cut the pancakes
into bite-sized pieces.
Sweeten the plate
as you scream.

Joan Kwon Glass‘ first full-length poetry collection, Night Swim, won the 2021 Diode Editions Book Contest. She is the author of the chapbooks How to Make Pancakes for a Dead Boy (Harbor Editions, 2022) and If Rust Can Grow on the Moon (Milk & Cake Press, 2022). In 2021 she was a runner-up for the Sundress Publications Chapbook Contest, a finalist for the Harbor Review Editor’s Prize, the Subnivean Award and the Lumiere Review Writing Contest. Joan is a graduate of Smith College and serves as Poet Laureate for the city of Milford, CT and as poetry co-editor for West Trestle Review. She has spent the past 20 years as an educator in the Connecticut public schools. Her poems have recently been published or are forthcoming in diodeThe RuptureNelleRattlePirene’s Fountain, SWWIM, Dialogist, South Florida Poetry JournalHoney LiteraryMom Egg, Rust + Moth, Lantern Review and many others. Joan has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

Jordi Alonso holds degrees in English literature from Kenyon College (AB ’14) Stony Brook University (MFA ’16) and the University of Missouri (PhD ’21). He is currently a Classical Studies MA student at Columbia University. Honeyvoiced, his first book, was published by XOXOX Press in 2014 and his chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook, was published by Red Flag Poetry Press in 2017. His work appears in Kenyon Review Online, Banyan Review, Levure Littéraire, and other journals. Follow him on Twitter @nymphscholar or get to know his work at jordialonsopoet.com

Sundress Reads: Review of Confluence

Confluence Book Cover

“In the distance, a gunshot” is the ending line of the first poem in Samantha Deflitch’s collection, Confluence. When a gunshot rings out, one subconsciously suspects different scenarios. Someone had a successful hunt. Someone is playing target practice. Maybe a race is starting. A disagreement between two gangs turned south. A home-invader was caught and stopped. For Samantha Deflitch, it was the sound of the beginning of deep wondering. About what it means to grow old, about the strangeness of human habit, and about why a boy she knew named John decided to take his life with a bullet. Confluence is a beautiful and hauntingly written story where each piece can stand alone, but as the work progresses, the reader realizes each chapter builds on the last. Deflitch allows us powerful glimpses into the scenes of her life in Pittsburgh and unveils the tragic loss behind that lone, echoing gunshot. 

The first poem, “Downed Birds,” introduces us to some of the recurring themes throughout the book’s entirety: birds, oranges, the time being seven-something in the evening, aging. Deflitch notices small things everywhere in the city and sees herself in unexpected places. In “Unfenced,” she sees herself in a dead frog run over in the street. In “Crossing the Hot Metal Street Bridge,” she sees herself in an old woman yelling prophecies. In “Turnpike Toll-Taker,” she sees herself in the red-ringed eyes of drivers heading west on the highway. Always in these mirror-images, Deflitch uses the repetition of “me, me!” to make it seem like she just came to the realization that she is part of the thing she observes. Deflitch studies how she compares to and fits in with miniscule details of earth, and because she notices these intricacies for a moment in time, she becomes part of something outside herself. Not only does Deflitch find herself in unique existences around her hometown, she hears herself echoed in silence and in other people’s voices, such as her mother’s and her grandmother’s in a dream. Her words remind us that everything is connected, even when we get wrapped up in our own worlds. 

Even though Confluence is about Pittsburgh, readers can relate to one’s own hometown when Deflitch writes about certain gas stations she frequents, the local Macy’s department store, her father waiting for her to buckle her seat belt, Taco Bell and Christmas music. We all have our own versions of these memories. Beginning the second chapter, Deflitch uses the same line as the first poem from chapter one: “I peeled open an orange.” Maybe she expects the fruit to be different- not rotten inside this time like the last. Deflitch is navigating a city that changes each day, but also stays the same in many ways.

Deflitch’s simple statements and detailed descriptions about everyday things make one stop and ponder how strange human habits are. This is exhibited strongly in the piece “Laundromat in Irwin,” where Deflitch finds herself watching the royal wedding on loop while waiting for her wash. As she waits, she gets a sense that the air is heavy as she contemplates how she “did not graduate from anything, or get married, or find a job today”- all milestones carved by society to measure success. And yet, the pressure of these expectations seems trivial to an artist who lives with a keen awareness of mortality and its limits.

In a later chapter titled “Ohio,” Deflitch revisits many of her earlier poems with a powerful piece called “Come Out, All You Moths.” Suddenly, each small scene and memory starts forming to center around John. There is an explanation between the lines for her fascination of what it means to grow old and why she imagined herself as the elderly woman yelling prophecies in the beginning of the book: “To grow old means really nothing / because I am growing old and the dog / is growing old and my parents / are growing old and John is not – / why? Because he didn’t want to.” A simple answer to a throbbing, painful question leads to the next theme in Deflitches writing – a search for miracles. 

The loneliness of a Midwestern winter is a despair I can relate to in “Giuseppe,” when Deflitch wrote that her father’s barber referred to Midwestern sunsets as “stark, sad things.” Being from Michigan, I know how little sunlight these states get from October to May, and how restless it can make a girl. As Detflitch watched a small bit of sunset from a school parking lot with bus exhaust catching the light, she concluded “other places have miracles in the night.” This idea is followed up later in “Extra Omnes,” where she begins the poem by stating “I heard you moved / to cornfields near me, or near / where I once lived before / I left to find a miracle.” It seems that Deflitch escaped her home town for a while, and met a lover somewhere on the coast. She begins referring to a woman she loved, referencing the sea, salt, and “crepuscular wonders.” 

Perhaps Deflitch found a true connection away from Pittsburgh, but never quite escaped the ghost of John, who she remembers watching Pulp Fiction with, and keeps writing about him from different time frames following the tragedy. Deflitch almost seems to detach herself describing the scenes before John’s body was discovered, stating “A woman’s voice echoes. / She has called the police. / She is crying that John has gone missing. / This sort of thing happens. / Neither she nor the police yet know / that John has put a bullet in his head,” as if to try and make sense of the words herself. Deflitch is unafraid to address raw topics, and her unique voice and style choice of shorter prose is thoroughly effective in yielding emotional gut punches throughout the collection while keeping the reader hooked.


The building up and interweaving of particular objects, moments and days in Deflitch’s life tell a stirring story of loss while offering hope in the simple beauty of a girl’s life as she navigates through the mundane and holy. Throughout Confluence, Deflitch reminds us of how we all try to make sense of and come to peace with things far out of our control. She teaches us how to appreciate the lessons that come with each season of recovery and transition, and how something as innocent as peeling an orange or watching a bird can hold the depth of epiphany. The book is a welcomed reminder to cherish the people whose paths cross ours – briefly as acquaintances or coworkers, and over the course of our lives as family members, friends and lovers – for time yields to no one and everything around us will one day pass.

Order your copy of Confluence here.

Emily DeYoung is a student of the world from Michigan, who travels as often as possible. She has been to over 25 countries since graduating high school, and uses the people, places, and small moments she experiences for inspiration when writing. Emily has one published poetry collection, How the Wind Calls the Restless, which won first place in the Writer’s Digest 30th Annual Self-Published Book Awards Contest last year (2021). She loves reading memoir, camping, large dogs who think they are lap-sized, and listening to classic and punk rock.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Shade of Blue Trees by Kelly Cressio-Moeller


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Jordi Alonso, is from Shade of Blue Trees by Kelly Cressio-Moeller, released by Two Sylvias Press in 2021.

Pelagic

A water / unlike any other water ~Joanna Klink

At Point Lobos, a woman mentions she nearly drowned
at Monastery Beach—some days she can still taste brine.

Pleurisy of tissue and wave: kick harder, kick harder.
Grow a third lung, line it with desire. Holdfast. Hold. Fast.

Cormorant deep-dives, belly full of pebbles. Flash your blue
throat to me! Build us a nest, carino, con posidonie e fiori.

Tie the boat in the shallows, hike through dune asters,
a clutch of bees, thick bullwhips beached on black stones.

18th century vaqueros broke mustangs along coastal bluffs, mistook
barking sea lions for wolves. Gray whale cries ghost the cove.

Sway-balanced on driftwood, a great blue heron syncs with my
shipwrecked vertigo, slow motion wingbeats carry her away.

Poseidon chases down the sun. Storm-footed chariot. Whitestarred
Hippocampi. Coffin bones hammer the seafloor gold.

In the Whaler’s Cabin, a man spoke about the sea—
how it took his boy and didn’t give him back.

Giant kelp coppers teal water, long garlands wreathe into laurel
crowns as if all Olympus is surfacing.

Kelly Cressio-Moeller is a poet and visual artist. Her poems have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best New Poets, and Best of the Net, and have appeared widely in journals and at literary websites including Gargoyle, North American Review, Poet Lore, Salamander, THRUSH Poetry Journal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Water~Stone Review, and ZYZZYVA, among others. An associate editor at Glass Lyre Press, she lives in the Bay Area. Shade of Blue Trees from Two Sylvias Press (Finalist for the Wilder Prize) is her first poetry collection.

Jordi Alonso holds degrees in English literature from Kenyon College (AB ’14) Stony Brook University (MFA ’16) and the University of Missouri (PhD ’21). He is currently a Classical Studies MA student at Columbia University. Honeyvoiced, his first book, was published by XOXOX Press in 2014 and his chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook, was published by Red Flag Poetry Press in 2017. His work appears in Kenyon Review Online, Banyan Review, Levure Littéraire, and other journals. Follow him on Twitter @nymphscholar or get to know his work at jordialonsopoet.com