- By Edward Clifford
The dress bound my body
like a bandage staunching a wound.
Lace choked my throat.
My arms were cinched in tourniquets of tuelle.
I was a hand grenade of a girl
vacuum packed into a costume,
my fingers poised in the fuselage of my lap.
I'd chopped my hair short.
—from "My First Grade Picture," Volume 61, Issue 1 (Spring 2020)
Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I published my first collection of poems when I was ten. It was written in cursive on multi-colored construction paper held together with brass brads and filled with bad drawings of peace signs and flowers. The opening poem in that “collection” was called “Freedom.”