With a line from Chidiock Tichborne My coworker’s face twists like a cubist painting when I tell him I found my wedding dress, tainting his spotless afternoon. Clearly, he’s equating my honesty with crazy—What the fuck?—slamming his Corona, his fingers limp and icy, on the table. The damn thing— the wedding dress, I mean—has never gotten this reaction. Jamming the lime back in the bottle’s tiny open mouth, he goes quiet. I do, too. Maybe I should keep this one a secret. My shit- show of a love life, after all, that doesn’t lend itself to marriage, is a riot (my college roommate called my life “a sitcom”). Obsession is my mother tongue: the indie drummer who pounds his aggression to a powder, the blisters on his hands ornaments, the singer’s lyrics of depression now irrelevant; three pages of a spicy sonnet crown, each iamb sizzling, onions in a pan; my eyes in certain pictures, brown as light roast coffee beans in filters; boots that make my ankles bleed. And now, the gown, its long sleeves lacy, suited for a goddess, a tease of a neckline, a tulle, pearl skirt that falls like freshly straightened hair. My best friend texts me, “Cool. I like the bodice” when I send her yet another picture. “You know, the golden rule,” she says. “Stop looking for love. That’s when it arrives.” But one by one, as classmates turn to brides, I wonder if their new domestic lives have meaning more than mine, and if this whole “obsession” thing survives. Does it just sail away? Or is it killed too suddenly to suffer, a victim of a palm tree through a windshield? I want to sneer and even contradict him when my coworker mumbles so bizarre. Or turn to friends and laugh, “See how I tricked him!” and he’ll relent. The jackass knows I’ve won. But what’s the point of speaking now? It’s done. My glass is full, and now my glass is run. Alexis Sears is the author of Out of Order, winner of the 2021 Donald Justice Poetry Prize. David Yezzi writes of the book that “her poems draw blood. It’s hard to think of a debut collection since Heart’s Needle [by W.D. Snodgrass] that is at once so deeply felt and so finely tuned. In her hands, form is the fist that delivers the blow, conveying the pure force of language.” She earned her MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Bachelor’s in Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University. Her work has appeared in Cortland Review, Hopkins Review, Cimarron Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Literary Matters, and Poet Lore. Her poem “Hair Sestina” will appear in Best American Poetry 2022. Alexis Sears will be reading at the E-Verse Equinox event at AWP. Click here for more information.