The heart and handwork of Jacki Rigoni

Happy 2nd birthday, Seven Skirts! It’s been a joy and honor to bring this debut poetry collection out in the world. Congratulations to author Jacki Rigoni! Rigoni, an educator and the City of Belmont’s Poet Laureate from 2018 to 2021, has recently been assigned to work as liaison to the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women, the Domestic Violence Council, and the Office of Arts and Culture, in her capacity as Senior Legislative Aide to The Honorable Noelia Corzo, the first Latina elected to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

Seven Skirts, though steeped in the milieu of #metoo, divorce court, and the ubiquity of violence against women, “[celebrates] women breaking silence after abuse, reclaiming their history, helping each other, learning to let go,” writes Dr. Luisa A. Igloria, Poet Laureate Emerita of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Author and publisher Tayve Neese has called it, “a collection rooted in healing.”

From Seven Skirts, page 20. 


I locked the door on Danger 
each night until I found him lying 

next to me, looking
exactly like Love.

Day forged black to gray 
to flame until everything

blazed. Dust illuminated 
like fairies. Daffodils in the yard

sprang from clay. The man
still slept, golden and harmless, 

his fuzzy brown sweater
slumped on a chair.

How many numb nights I tugged 
his cable-knit tighter around me, 

when all along I could have shrugged
it to the floor for the orange cat to nap on

and shivered until morning. But
I didn’t see what I couldn’t see. 

That’ll take some self-forgiveness.
Dawn crept in when it did,

one minute earlier than yesterday.
That was the only difference. 

Now I walk with bare arms
into the buckeye-leafed spring, 

where white flowers birth cherries, 
where morning clears her crow throat.

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