Stirring : A Literary Collection

Chocolate Waters


THE TURQUOISE DRESS

Buttoned down from here to China,
the spaces even as the rows of corn you used to eat.
It was a Nippon; the turquoise so blue it stung our eyes.
Bought it secondhand in Fairfield for five dollars.
Some place called Merriweather's or Pennyfeather's
or A Penny for the Thoughts, the memories the rich had left to charity.

I wore it with the French perfume you gave me when you liked me.
I wore it on the night you told me I was feminine.
I wore it on that day you said I'd never really be your friend.
I flung it off the banister of my front porch steps,
flew it off the banister like a breeze,
hoping some deserving soul might take it all the way to China.

There was this guy who used to hang out in the neighborhood.
He was skinny as a row of corn.
You said he was a deck hand or a deck hand's lover.
He was a transvestite.
Or a transsexual.
Someone rich had loved him once then stopped.
The sinking silicon inside his cheeks,
the plastic surgery half undone --

One morning on my way to work I caught a spark of color,
flying from the doorway of the Cortes Gallery next door,
so bright it set my eyes on fire.
The transsexual/transvestite,
my turquoise dress slipping down around his shoulders,
struggling to get past his scarecrow arms.

The last time I saw that dress was evening,
discarded in the gutter, wilted,
never seeing China,
scaring all the birds away.

First published in Home Planet News, Brooklyn, NY 1993



Chocolate Waters
Location: New York, New York
Email: chocolatewaters@poetic.com
Website: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Rooftop/3476/
Publications: Hellís Kitchen: Slices of Life, And What Rough Beast, The Second Word Thursdays Anthology, Fireweed, Conspire,Poetry Cafe, Poetrymagazine.com, Disquieting Muses, Zero City, Astrophysicist's Tango Partner Speaks
Awards: NY Foundation for the Arts fellowship in poetry; Fellowship from the Barbara Deming Memorial Society






Stirring : A Literary Collection



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