The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Angela Narciso Torres’s “Blood Orange”

Angela Torres Pic

Cold Front

The whiff of clean laundry
   is not what I expect
at the door of Divine Word Seminary

   this morning, gray
slush sliding from my boots
   onto stone, but it takes away

the numbing chill to think
   of albs tumbling in a dryer,
warm suds swirling with wine,

   paraffin, human sweat.
Behind walls a monk folds
   chasubles, another sings

Tantum Ergo while swinging
   a chained thurible.
Incense infuses nave, linens,

   wood. Stooped on a pew,
a traveler might lift his eyes
   to the saturated reds and golds

of high windows, the lit robes
   of saints, plainchant
spiraling like smoke—

   might even be moved
to face the day differently,
   as I was, by the scent of clean

clothes. Outside, snow
   embroiders a veil on my window,
delicate as a girl’s.


This selection comes from Angela Narcisso Torres’s book Blood Orange, which is available through Aquarius Press. Purchase your copy here!

Angela Narcisso Torres’s first book of poetry, Blood Orange, won the Willow Books Literature Award for Poetry and was published by Willow Books/Aquarius Press in September 2013. Recent work appears in Cimarron Review, Colorado Review, and Cream City Review. A graduate of Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Angela has received fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, Ragdale Foundation, and Midwest Writing Center. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Manila, she currently resides in Chicago, where she teaches poetry workshops and serves as a senior poetry editor for RHINO.

Donna Vorreyer is the author of A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as six chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish from Redbird Chapbooks forthcoming in April. She is an assistant poetry editor for Extract(s), and her second collection is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in 2016.

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