The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby by Alexa Doran


To My Son, Who Just Heard Me Scream Fuck

and turned to me for a hug, I’m sorry I keep confusing
me for the goddess of electricity. Imagine your mama


in charge of the parse of light and dark, lightning bolts
shivering down both arms whenever I want the night


to sputter or the sky to rip apart. To unleash
myself in a vector of heat – Son I am angry


that I am not the sun that reaches your cheeks.
I am f-star furious that I can’t blend those binaries,


And yes this is about more than astronomy (although
you have to agree that as a star I would hang


but perfectly) This is about America’s hard-on
for atrocity, and your mama’s sugar/fire/need


to plug those geysers of white male greed. It’s true.
I infringe. I jostle. I say irrevocable things.


All to cage you in. You see I think I can make you
forget I don’t fibrillate the wind. Son, the way


condensation clasps the glass is how I will rise
inevitably to the surface of your life –


not as some womb of weather, snow cocked
like a weapon, but silent as the brine that coats


your tendons, as the grope of muscle to skin.


This selection comes from Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby, available from Bottlecap Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Kimberly Ann Priest.

Alexa Doran is the author of the chapbook Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby (Bottlecap Press 2019), and is currently a PhD candidate at Florida State University. Her series of poems about the women of Dada, “The Octopus Breath on Her Neck,” was recently released as part of Oxidant/Engine’s BoxSet Series Vol 2. You can also look for work from Doran in recent or upcoming issues of Glass, Mud Season Review, Conduit, and Permafrost, among others. For a full list of her publications, awards, and interviews please visit her website at https://aed16e.wixsite.com/alexadoranpoet.

Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress 2021), Parrot Flower (Glass 2021), Still Life (PANK 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (Finishing Line Press 2018). Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North Dakota Quarterly, Salamander, Slipstream, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Borderland and many others. She is an associate poetry editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and Embody reader for The Maine Review. Find her work at kimberlyannpriest.com.

Poetry is Good Company: A Conversation with Wendy Carlisle on Her Second Poetry Collection Discount Fireworks

Doubleback Review Social Media Intern, Bethany Milholland, asked Wendy Carlisle to participate in an interview about her poetry collection Discount Fireworks. A hymn to the landscape of Carlisle’s native Arkansas, the subjects of these poems range from Greek myths to motherhood to a high school shooting. Timeless yet personal, Discount Fireworks is an ode to self-discovery and the beauty of finding one’s home.

Bethany Milholland: What does the poetry collection Discount Fireworks mean to you? 

Wendy Carlisle: This collection was my second, completed five years after I had finished my MFA in Vermont, and after a fruitful residency on the West Bank of New Orleans. My wonderful publisher Jacaranda Press folded immediately after it was published, alas. I love this book because it was a watershed for me. It marked, I think, my passage into poetry-for-sure.

BM: How long did it take to write and what was the process like?

WC: These poems were collected over almost 8 years. I found poems that I believed spoke to one another, and added to the sum of the book, then sent them to my editor. She weighed in, and we began again. This process took about 6 months. The final book opens with thinning glaciers and closes with Hurricane Katrina but in-between, it contains everything from vampires to Bible stories. I am surprised now by how many forms are here, from faux sonnets (the precursors of my Ozark Sonnets) to syllabics. The thing that clinched the collection for me was that the individual poems said something I wanted to hear.

BM: Who or what do you find inspiration from? 

WC: I am inspired by other Arkansas poets, Jo McDougall, Arkansas’s poet laureate, my first teacher Miller Williams, and that giant of Arkansas letters, C.D. Wright. I just discovered Laura Kasischke, that was like finding gold. Kim Addonizio continues to be an inspiration and my poetic practice has been built on the foundation of my friendship with the late Phillip Dacey,who continually reminded me about the bone work of poetry, showing up.

BM: Can you tell me about the front cover? 

WC: The cover is Discount Fireworks, a 1985 painting by a first-rate Arkansas artist, Robert McGehee, from Paris, Arkansas. I lived with the painting for over a decade when it occurred to me it would make a great cover for my book-in-progress. After that standing at the kitchen counter, I wrote the first draft of the poem “Discount Fireworks” in a flash.

BM: What is poetry to you?

WC: Poetry is good company. Poetry is hard work. Poetry is laughter. Poetry is a soul stretcher, a teacher of compassion. It animates wit. I seek poetry out, and we have a cup of coffee. We walk in the woods and look for morels. Outside of my family, poetry is the great love of my life.

BM: Do you consider yourself a regionalist author? Why? 

WC: In Discount Fireworks, the subjects of the poems range from Greek myths to motherhood to a high school shooting, but I’ve lived in Arkansas for 45 years and everything I write is touched by its wind and water, its patois and the rocky Ozark soil. Its people speak through me. I can’t say if I’m a regionalist, but I expect so.

BM: Do you have any advice for beginning poets?

WC: Don’t come to poetry expecting to be noticed. Come expecting to work hard for no money and meagre rewards. Come because you cannot help yourself. Come for the sheer joy of making something that didn’t exist before. Read and read and read poetry. Don’t worry about being influenced by other poets. If you can write like Emily Dickinson, do that. And don’t be above the scut work of poetry—the mishigas of submission and rejection. In the end, expect to give everything you have to poetry, but don’t expect poetry to give you back anything but jubilation.

BM: What was the most meaningful poem to you in the collection and why?

WC: That question reminds me of, “who is your favorite child.” But, if I have to say, the book contains one of my first love poems to my husband, “La Bamba Dance Club.” It was a nice surprise to write that.


Bethany Milholland is a senior at The University of Evansville majoring in Creative Writing. She is the former Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Evansville Review. She is also a former intern for her university’s magazine The Crescent. In her spare time, she enjoys earning a cat’s love and shopping at every thrift store within a thirty-mile radius.

Wendy Taylor Carlisle was born in Manhattan, raised in Bermuda, Connecticut and Ft Lauderdale, Florida and now lives in the Arkansas Ozarks in a house she built in 1980. She has an MA from the University of Arkansas and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of The Mercy of Traffic (Unlikely Books, 2019), Discount Fireworks (Jacaranda Press, 2008) and Reading Berryman to the Dog (Jacaranda Press, 2000.) Chapbooks include They Went to the Beach to Play (Locofo Chaps, 2016), Chap Book (Platypus Press, 2016), Persephone on the Metro (MadHat press, 2014), The Storage of Angels (Slow Water Press, 2008), and After Happily Ever After (Two River Chapbooks, 2003.) Her work appears in multiple anthologies.

Sundress Reads: Review of Greyhound

Greyhound by Aeon Ginsberg (Noemi Press, 2020) was recently nominated for a Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Poetry, and from the poem’s first breaths it’s clear to see why. Walking in the footsteps of Nevada by Imogen Binnie and other self-exploration-beyond-transition transgender narratives, Greyhound follows its speaker through the bus system into somewhere new, a phenomenological reorientation where “me being a bitch is not a possibility / but a definitive fixed point.” (30)

Greyhound is, quite literally, an epic poem from the beginning of its semi-circular journey: while Ginsberg does not end up in the same place where they started, moving from the concrete notion of getting on a bus to an ending defined by its definitions of prisms, desire, and the self, they journey through the psyche and reorient themselves through new relationships to both animate and inanimate others. Much like the wheels of its titular Greyhound bus, the one poem that luxuriates through 63 pages cycles through and circles back to a few major thematic categories: travel, transition, platonic intimacy (with others and the self), dogs, and sustenance.

The cycle reveals itself through what could most aptly be called a wheel metaphor. No one concept is explored in its entirety before the poem glitters in a different direction, shifting fragments, yet no concept is fully dropped after it has been introduced. Like a spoke of a wheel, each of these major themes and concepts hold the poem together and are featured in succession: travel, and then animals, and then definitions, and then transition, and then intimacy, and then travel again. Nothing is left alone to rot.

One of the blurbs for Greyhound mentions the work’s similarity to Sara Ahmed’s Queer Phenomenology, going as far as to use Ahmed’s metaphor of a desk as a way of making orientation tangible. This relationship between Greyhound and Queer Phenomenology cannot be understated: “Even my prescriptions / have my name in parentheses. / This makes sense too—that my identity / is on the periphery of a perception of it.” (8). From the beginning of their poem, Ginsberg identifies this transient relationship to space that queerness both allows and requires and dances with it. Phenomenology, particularly the queer kind discussed by Ahmed and other scholars, relates to the physical location of and relationship to objects from one to another. Through their exploration of relationships, striving to find home, and renaming (one of the most fun parts of early transition, that rebranding of the self), Ginsberg uses phenomenology to lay the asphalt of the open road ahead of them. “Why do all the words relating to my body / have to do with movement?” they ask. “Passing privilege, / transitioning. One thing, and then another thing.” (13) This movement and the way that travel has infused the trans lexicon is cleaved open in one sharp stanza.              

But Ginsberg doesn’t stop there. Rather, this troubling of travel through language also clearly shows their love for the possibility that physical travel allows. “I tell another trans person / I feel most in my skin / in Greyhound bus terminals. / Neither of us talks / about what it means to only be seen in a liminal way— / to only be seen when we are in movement, between two points.” (19) Movement is not always beautiful, though, they remind us. “…the conversation must recognize / movement that happens without our urgency— / in fact, regardless of our urgency or agency. / The movement of militarization. / The movement of police. / The movement of borders. / The movement of bodies.” (55). Not all bodies are allowed to move in the ways they need to, and the recognitions of the world’s glittering nuance becomes a call to action. It takes a certain level of freedom to be able to live alongside the wild road as Ginsberg has— something they both recognize and willingly admit within the poem itself.

Alongside the strength and depth with which they tackle the complex ideas of bodily autonomy and power, among other concepts, in this poem, Ginsberg is also hilarious. Their dry, witty humor cracks through just about every line. “When I get a car,” they state, “I will never wear pants / again and no one can stop me.” (28) Their legs are “two kissing hairless cats,” they “have 20/20 Gender Vision.” At times, their humor is self-deprecating, but what trans person, who’s felt free under the weight of systemic oppression, isn’t? The humorous moments are extraordinarily dry, but linger nevertheless. It serves as not only a reminder of their humanity among the nebulosity they present themselves as, but as a source of strength and self-protection in the face of a world that continues to try and beat us down.

A Greyhound: the dog, the bus, the bus as related to dog, the dog as related to speaker, the speaker as related to bus. There is no singular subject in this long, complex, gorgeous poem; rather, every permutation of speaker and self works as a spoke in the wheel, pushing the poem ahead as it lays down the road it drives upon. I, for one, hope to be along for the ride, wherever Aeon Ginsberg is taking us.

Greyhound is available at Noemi Press


Lee Anderson is a nonbinary MFA candidate at Northern Arizona University, where they are the Managing Editor of Thin Air Magazine. They have been published sporadically but with zest, with work appearing or forthcoming in The Rumpus, Columbia Journal, and Unstamatic Magazine.

Sundress Announces the Release of Teni Ayo-Ariyo’s wash between your toes

The cover of a chapbook called "wash between your toes" by Teni Ayo-Ariyo. The cover is off-white with a gray line drawing of feet in a pool of water.

Sundress Publications announces the release of Teni Ayo-Ariyo’s debut poetry chapbook, wash between your toes.

In wash between your toes, the speaker feeds us snippets of pain alongside those of hope, culminating in a collection of short pithy poems detailing loss, isolation, and ultimately, community.

Teni Ayo-Ariyo’s debut chapbook is awash in vibrant images of learning to be at home in the self—a self that finds comfort in her Yoruban ancestry yet is also searching for family, identity, love, and relief from a present that dominates a history that refuses to be forgotten: “i could die tomorrow / what that really means is, i can live today.” wash between your toes is a celebration of the electric breathtaking power embedded in the nuanced experiences of a Black immigrant woman living in America.

Alexus Rhone, artistic theologian and founder of Truth Meet Story called wash between your toes “a gentle breeze, an aromatic balm, a prayer and meditation. It is proof that in between the chaos of life and the fears for our future, there is a hope stubbornly, definitively, defiantly lodged in our memories and in the things that we’ve already more than conquered. My soul was nurtured by these precious proclamations that all is well in all manner of things.”

A dark-skinned woman between brown poles, with a gray shirt. She is looking off into the distance.

Download your free copy of wash between your toes now!

Teni Ayo-Ariyo writes soft, brave things. Her full name, Teninlanimi, means “I belong to the Great One” in Yoruba, a language from Nigeria. Her name is a subtle, powerful truth that calls her home when the world gets too loud. Some days, she practices yoga; other days, she uses her business school degree; and, most days, she is just trying her best to be human. You can find more of her writing on The Beautiful Project, Highly Sensitive Refuge, and on her personal website.

The Sundress Academy for the Arts announces our April Reading Series

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is pleased to announce the guests for the April installment of our virtual reading series. The event will take place on Wednesday, April 28th, 2021, 7:00-8:00 EDT via Zoom. Join us at http://tiny.utk.edu/sundress (password: safta).

Nepal-born Anuja Ghimire (Twitter @GhimireAnuja) writes poetry, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction. She is the author of Kathmandu (Unsolicited Press, 2020) and two poetry books in Nepali. A Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee, she works as a senior publisher in an online learning company. She reads poetry for Up the Staircase Quarterly and enjoys teaching poetry to children in summer camps. Her work found home in print and online journals and anthologies in Nepal, U.S., the U.K., Scotland, Australia, India, and Bangladesh. She lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and two children.

S. Erin Batiste is an interdisciplinary poet and author of the chapbook Glory to All Fleeting Things. In 2021, she is the recipient of PERIPLUS, Jack Straw Writers, and the dots between fellowships, and is a Writer in Residence at Prairie Ronde and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Her other recent honors include fellowships from Cave Canem, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference–Rona Jaffe Foundation, Crosstown Arts, and Callaloo. Batiste is a reader for The Rumpus, and her own Pushcart-nominated poems are anthologized and appear internationally in Michigan Quarterly Review, Puerto del Sol, and wildness, among other decorated journals.

Isaac Pickell is a passing poet & PhD student at Wayne State University in Detroit, where he studies the borderlands of blackness and black literature. His work is most recently featured in Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Fence, Puerto del Sol, and Sixth Finch, and his chapbook ‘everything saved will be last’ is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press. Isaac is the founding editor of The Woodward Review, a journal of call and response from Wayne State University.

Sundress Announces the Release of our 2021 Craft Chaps: A Delicious Letter: Correspondence on Narrative Time in Fiction by Megan Giddings and Messy Genius by Tina Jenkins Bell

Sundress Publications announces the release of this year’s craft chaps by Megan Giddings and Tina Jenkins Bell.

In A Delicious Letter: Correspondence on Narrative Time in Fiction, Megan Giddings accepts time to be like any other medium: one subject to distortion and subjectivity. Invoking personal anecdotes alongside examples from anime and literature, Giddings encourages us to shake our existing understanding of narrative structure. By the end of Giddings’ letter on craft, writers will have planted literal seeds, written a month’s worth of letters, and considered how stories morph when condensed and expanded into new forms.

Messy Genius’s deep dive into collaborative writing, in all of its shared guts and creative glory, shines an honest light on the practice in a way that is both thorough and fun. As a strong supporter of group work, Bell intricately breaks down every facet of collaborative writing for students, instructors, non-academics, and anyone staring down a team project. The best practices and reasons to approach the work are clearly laid out through historical anecdotes, active and engaging lesson plans, specific online tool recommendations, and Bell’s own personal experiences working with others. After all, Messy Genius compares collaborative writing to labor: a messy, painful process that results in something truly beautiful that could not have been produced alone.

Download them for free on the Sundress website


Megan Giddings is an assistant professor at Michigan State University. Her debut novel, Lakewood, was published by Amistad in 2020. More about her can be found at www.megangiddings.com

Tina Jenkins Bell is a published fiction writer, journalist, academic, fiction editor for an online zine, blogger, and literary activist. In 2020, she was nominated for an Illinois Literary Arts Award. She writes a popular blog for the Chicago Writers Association and has had numerous work published, including: her soft sci fi short story, “To the Moon and Back,” (Hypertext Journal); a mini memoir, “Devil’s Alley,” (Us Against Alzheimer’s); a collaborative hybrid, entitled “Looking for the Good Boy, Yummy,” (Black Lawrence Press); and a short story, “The Last Supper,” (Revise the Psalm). Bell has also had two plays produced as staged readings for large audiences, including Cut the Baby in Half (Greenline Theater) and A Conversation Between Lorraine Hansberry and Gwendolyn Brooks (a collaborative effort produced by the Chicago Humanities Festival). An active reader and presenter in the literary community, Bell is working on her second novel, Family Legacies.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby by Alexa Doran


The Neighbors Invite Us To Church

and lest we forget the petrified
look on my face the downtown
sprinklers ajazz all around me, my son
more abuzz than June
on the concrete,


let us conjure the fear that freckled my face that day.

How many of us crumple
as if God were a gust that could knock us down
with an accident of touch?
I am not sure


I want my son to see that side of Him


– his feet tucked beneath a pew,
his tongue tucked beneath a hymn –


when right now God is everything.

I still want him
to feel the thorn glut his forehead to stich his skin
nail-numb to loop his mouth around
the language of crucifixion


but at what cost the blazer buried
prayer the pulpit plunk resounding
louder than the robin
beak drilling song into air?

My son’s face puddles in the fountain’s reflection
a trillion versions of him

blend and dreg.
I nod politely and say
I will never be ready to give religion
circumference

let God be
a lily pad instead
a pulse on the water
a point of departure

: a green without end.


This selection comes from Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby, available from Bottlecap Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Kimberly Ann Priest.

Alexa Doran is the author of the chapbook Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby (Bottlecap Press 2019), and is currently a PhD candidate at Florida State University. Her series of poems about the women of Dada, “The Octopus Breath on Her Neck,” was recently released as part of Oxidant/Engine’s BoxSet Series Vol 2. You can also look for work from Doran in recent or upcoming issues of Glass, Mud Season Review, Conduit, and Permafrost, among others. For a full list of her publications, awards, and interviews please visit her website at https://aed16e.wixsite.com/alexadoranpoet.

Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress 2021), Parrot Flower (Glass 2021), Still Life (PANK 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (Finishing Line Press 2018). Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North Dakota Quarterly, Salamander, Slipstream, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Borderland and many others. She is an associate poetry editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and Embody reader for The Maine Review. Find her work at kimberlyannpriest.com.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby by Alexa Doran


I Am Failing You

Here, you can see it in my hands the
way when air fails smoke it wends ash.
A mother’s silence has velocity, wing
speed and at thirty I am still learning
to speak. I say hurdle but mean throat.
I mean sincerely you can jump right
over me, stun me with dust and I will
still bunny-go. Son I already have so
many roles. Dust buster, kiss crafter,
forever disciple of my dance teacher
Ms. Trudeau. I know. I know. Morning
becomes a chalice when least expected
so why can’t I resurrect into something
you can sip on the go? My mother used
to pause the screen on all the ice skating
queens as they waited for their number
to glow – you can’t fake grace – there!
Watch her sparkle shot lips fold, her too
big eyes glimpse God, her bun twitch
against the faux snow. What I mean is
climb up on the moss with me. As equals
in this quiver of ether, we can bereave the
mother-child trope. What I mean is melt
into the peat, use your ankles to breathe,
the bog is not a (b)rink for us to glacier
each other’s heat – No. it doesn’t matter
in what order we grow. Graze your first
taste of champagne, now
touch your toes.


This selection comes from Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby, available from Bottlecap Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Kimberly Ann Priest.

Alexa Doran is the author of the chapbook Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby (Bottlecap Press 2019), and is currently a PhD candidate at Florida State University. Her series of poems about the women of Dada, “The Octopus Breath on Her Neck,” was recently released as part of Oxidant/Engine’s BoxSet Series Vol 2. You can also look for work from Doran in recent or upcoming issues of Glass, Mud Season Review, Conduit, and Permafrost, among others. For a full list of her publications, awards, and interviews please visit her website at https://aed16e.wixsite.com/alexadoranpoet.

Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress 2021), Parrot Flower (Glass 2021), Still Life (PANK 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (Finishing Line Press 2018). Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North Dakota Quarterly, Salamander, Slipstream, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Borderland and many others. She is an associate poetry editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and Embody reader for The Maine Review. Find her work at kimberlyannpriest.com.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: FOREVERHAUS by Kaley Tedesco


a good mirror is nothing but a door

the stench of wet pennies mossbeds my footpads. i wishing well myself
through it, circle salt around all my old bodies, a sort of hopscotch.

bloody mary confides in me now—i was not thinking of ending my life
just leaving the kitchen, just sleeping alone in the grass

staining my skin the same green as the paint for our faces
but everyone balked & everyone swarmed & everyone sang.

nothing here is secret nor sacred. i like to sleep woodtucked, too.
i’m in need of blood work but it autocorrects to bloodworm

& so it shall be & so it is—my veins oozing with pest. i wish i were
with her sooner, collected in the dirt, a real pile of doze.

now i chant until my mouths seep & my mouths drool
& my mouths fill with limbs from some parlor of a pastlife.

out come the oil lamps hung swinging from my teeth. i hollow myself out,
make waxdolls of bloody mary still clutching rosaries by the lake.

i’ve always hoped the bathroom vanity would pry for me,
wet with its tongues & in i’d crawl to take her place, forever.

This selection comes from FOREVERHAUS, available from White Stag. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Kimberly Ann Priest.

Kailey Tedesco is the author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publishing) and Lizzie, Speak (winner of White Stag Publishing’s 2018 MS Contest). Her newest collection, FOREVERHAUS, is now available from White Stag. She is a senior editor for Luna Luna Magazine, and she teaches literature and writing at Moravian College and Northampton Community College. You can find her work in Electric Literature,The Journal, Ninth Letter, Fairy Tale Review, Black Warrior Review, and more. For further information, please visit kaileytedesco.com.

Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress 2021), Parrot Flower (Glass 2021), Still Life (PANK 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (Finishing Line Press 2018). Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North Dakota Quarterly, Salamander, Slipstream, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Borderland and many others. She is an associate poetry editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and Embody reader for The Maine Review. Find her work at kimberlyannpriest.com.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: FOREVERHAUS by Kaley Tedesco


spiral at the heart of the haus

the shower whispers says bloody mary—
her name or mine or a knock when no one is at the door

neighbors dare each other to ring the bell broken for years
noiselessness existing against the fear of the haus.

i dry off make the faucet water a discarded shift
no longer of any use to me. some say the haus grows from within,

a pie is lazing on the sill daydreaming of its fruit bursting
gems against the heat of the oven.

now it bleeds from the crust & i, too, bleed something
that is not blood according to your legend. my toy bears

jolt across the room my old dolls cry at the gables their spouses off in some war.
bloody mary tries to find me in the walls.

when you die she says i’ll keep your parts inside the haus forever
the parts that i inherit a pendant

two jadeite bowls black magic roses casketed in gold
all the rings of your life & the fingers that filled them.

perhaps i’m planted sooner than is natural. my tulips bud
on a warm day in winter die out within the hour fertilize the dirt

with their deadness. a doppelgänger blossom or just another resurrection.
i’m in here i call to her from within a wall that does not exist

in her memory of the haus. she will never find me.

This selection comes from FOREVERHAUS, available from White Stag. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Kimberly Ann Priest.

Kailey Tedesco is the author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publishing) and Lizzie, Speak (winner of White Stag Publishing’s 2018 MS Contest). Her newest collection, FOREVERHAUS, is now available from White Stag. She is a senior editor for Luna Luna Magazine, and she teaches literature and writing at Moravian College and Northampton Community College. You can find her work in Electric Literature,The Journal, Ninth Letter, Fairy Tale Review, Black Warrior Review, and more. For further information, please visit kaileytedesco.com.

Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress 2021), Parrot Flower (Glass 2021), Still Life (PANK 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (Finishing Line Press 2018). Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North Dakota Quarterly, Salamander, Slipstream, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Borderland and many others. She is an associate poetry editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and Embody reader for The Maine Review. Find her work at kimberlyannpriest.com.