The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Amy Ash’s “The Open Mouth of the Vase”

Amy Ash author photo for Cider Press Review

After Dinner

The white linen napkin is folded
into something that resembles
a decapitated swan.

Across the room, an older couple
at a corner table collapses
over a spilled bottle of Sangiovese,
shards of glass on the floor
like broken teeth.

What if they slipped
under the table together,
flashes of skin visible
under the bedspread
of tablecloth?

They only dab at the wine,
but from this distance,
the couple might have looked
like something more fragile
or passionate than they are,

the way you might mistake
a heart attack for a serenade
if you paid attention
only to the gestures.


This selection comes from Amy Ash’s collection The Open Mouth of the Vase, available from Cider Press Review. Purchase your copy here!

Amy Ash has an MFA from New Mexico State University and PhD in literature and creative
writing from the University of Kansas. A Pushcart nominee and the recipient of an Academy of
American Poets prize, her work has been published in various journals and anthologies,
including Mid-American Review, Harpur Palate, Salamander, Prick of the Spindle, 100 Word
Story, and The Best of Kore Press 2012. The Open Mouth of the Vase, selected by Charles
Harper Webb for the Cider Press Review Book Award, is her first full-length collection. She
teaches creative writing and literature at Indiana State University.

Melanie Jordan‘s chapbook, Ghost Season, is available from Ropewalk Press; her work has been published in the Iowa Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poetry Southeast, Third Coast, DIAGRAM, Southeast Review, and others. She studied Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before receiving her MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and her doctorate from the University of Houston. She currently teaches Creative Writing, literature, and composition at the University of West Georgia. Her debut collection, Hallelujah for the Ghosties, was published by Sundress in 2015.

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