“You Ask What’s in My Closet and it Turns into a Fashion Show” & “Marrow” by Danielle Shorr

orange illustrations of carrots, popsicles, basketballs, a traffic cone, pumpkin pie, and an orange fruit

You Ask What’s in My Closet and it Turns into a Fashion Show

I am strutting down my hallway in my frilliest tulle dress, the one
with rose appliques on the sleeve lines and bows along the bottom
hem, I am quick changing into a purple gown from the eighties I had
altered to tea length, I am taking out my heels, tossing them from their boxes,
knee high cowboy boots covered in pink rhinestones, red cowboy boots
with pin up girls on the sides, pastel cowboy boots that are too small
for my feet but I force them in anyway, I have to show you my sweaters,
this one has strawberries on it, this one has a dog that looks like my dog
but isn’t my dog, my favorite color is rainbow if rainbow can be a color,
I want to live in this skirt, this one with the butterflies, this one
that makes me feel like Carrie Bradshaw in the first season
of Sex and the City, this dress has beetles on it, bugs I mean,
not the car, this is the dress I wore on my 21st birthday, this one on my 22nd,
I used to be eighteen and I keep these pants to remember, I used to be smaller,
I used to be softer, these jeans are ripped because of how much my thighs loved
to kiss, my friend had the matching shirt to this one, I tried to find when
I cleaned out her storage unit after she died, I couldn’t, I love this purse
so much that I’ve never put anything in it, I love this purse so much that there’s
a hole in the bottom from the time I tried to take home a lit cigarette, I have
too many things and not enough, I want to take my belongings with me
when I go, I want to take the people I love with me when I go, I don’t want
people I love to go without me, I want to sit in my closet and cry about death,
I don’t want to cry but if I have to I would rather do it in a pretty dress, I don’t want
to stumble but I’d rather do it platform boots, I don’t want to die but when I do,
bury me in all of my favorite things


He refused to give me what I wanted
and what I wanted was to be more
than the end of the day.

He left a piece of key lime pie
on my doorstep because I told him
it was my favorite.

He didn’t remember my birthday,
or my work schedule,
but he bought me a nerd’s rope
from the gas station.

It isn’t a question of whether or not
there was love, and it wouldn’t matter.
Substitutions don’t satiate
the starving.

He put ulcers in my intestines
and candy in my mouth. Purple on my clavicle,
gum in my hands.

We shared a piece of chocolate cake
from my favorite restaurant, even though he said
he didn’t want any. I caught him swiping the plate
for leftover frosting.

Later that night, sliding down the mattress,
he pulled the covers over his head
like laying a napkin across the lap.

I like to picture him now, years after
I left, still licking his fingers
for a taste, like cleaning meat off of a bone

until it’s pure and white and shining,
glistening as though it has never seen
the inside of a body

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Danielle (she/her) is an MFA alum and professor of disability rhetoric and creative writing at Chapman University. She has a fear of commitment in regard to novel writing and an affinity for wiener dogs. Her work has been published by Lunch Ticket, Vassar Review, Hobart, Split Lip, The Florida Review, etc. and is forthcoming in The New Orleans Review and others.

MeiLi Carling is a Philadelphia-based designer, illustrator, and musician who is currently earning their MFA in Graphic and Interactive Design at Tyler School of Art. Their favorite places are the gay beach, the Asian grocery store, and bed. You can find them at meilicarling.com or @meilicarling on Instagram and Twitter.