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

Angela Torres Pic

For a Son Turning Sixteen

By the time the black
   blade clears
my windshield—

   its shush-thump
the sound of blood amplified
   in a doctor’s scope—

the roadside aspen,
   its windswept leaves spent
like so many coins,

   is gone. Before I can say
the last syllable
   of your name, you’ve bolted

through the back door,
   wheels crunching gravel
like small bones.

   And years ahead, when
I’ve emptied your drawer
   of photographs, plastered

the last under cellophane,
   your room will be light and dust,
books neat, shelves staggered

   by their heft. Whatever
bindings you left unbroken
   will stay unbroken,

what pages unturned,
   remain unturned,
dagger-edged, clean.


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

Angela Narciso 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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