The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach’s “The Bear Who Ate the Stars”

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Holding Another Woman’s Child

I’ve imagined him
dying in my arms:
head suspended

like the last white blossom
on a weeping cherry.
His hair would come away

slowly as petals,
his yielding body
would stiffen to dry twigs

that snap and splinter,
trying to leave roots
in my hollow abdomen,

in a red watered soil,
and I would almost hear
his plum-sized heart

shrivel down to its silent seed.
Alone now, with her son’s pulse,
his head in my hands

feels like a warm bowl of milk
filled to the brim.
My fingers cup its edges

to keep in the flood
of white light he can’t see
through red-lidded eyes

where lashes haven’t yet
sprouted, where life
stirs sleeping

under ripening skin.

 

This selection comes from Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach’s chapbook The Bear Who Ate the Stars, available from Split Lip Press. Purchase your copy here!

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated as a Jewish refugee from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine in 1993. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is in the University of Pennsylvania’s Comparative Literature Ph.D. program. Julia’s poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Southern Humanities ReviewGreen Mountains Review, Tupelo QuarterlyGuernica, and Nashville Review, among others journals. Her manuscript, The Bear Who Ate the Stars, won of Split Lip Magazine‘s Uppercut Chapbook Award, and can be purchased from Split Lip Press. Most recently, she won Burlington Book Festival Short Works Writing Contest and Spark: A Creative Anthology’s writing contest. Julia is also the Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine. Find out more by visiting her website.

Jennifer Jackson Berry is the author of the chapbooks When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications) and Nothing But Candy (Liquid Paper Press). Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Booth, The Emerson Review, Harpur Palate, Moon City Review, Stirring, and Whiskey Island, among others. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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