<i><b>Wicked Alice Poetry Journal
wicked alice| spring 2008

Rachel Dacus


The Skirt

Pharaohs wore it short and wide as an alligator's
smile. Feasting Romans dined in its drape.
Scots kilt-whipped the foe. So how did it devolve
into a hobbling cage of cinch and trouble
that shrank at last to a leather slash, thighs
flashing under a business jacket with shredded
pockets sported by basketball hoop-tall girls
in orange Cleopatra wigs or runway
become a verb, a trained horse that sidesteps,
a swelling guess. And then a lacy lie.

The sun glared on endless Empire as skirts
demurred, enfolded, then butterflied into humps
and fin de siecle rumps. The inevitable gore
spliced a triangle of tension Ė man, child, woman
pumping through the street like a jellyfish.
Now we plunge through our parachutes,
while the Empire
waist makes a comeback.

Taffeta's dry scream. A martini
glass overturned. Silkís sob between the legs.
Whipped at every step, poodled and saronged.
A pleat's bleat, a leap through
our own curtains. A smolder of green,
the lichened triangle you imagine beneath.
We blow around like mushroom
clouds, shirred and sheer to obfuscate
the galloping stilettos underneath,
purposive and explosive.





My poetry collections are Femme au chapeau (David Robert Books) and Earth Lessons (Bellowing Ark Press). Small Poetry Press recently released my new chapbook, Another Circle of Delight. Iíve also published two poetry CDs: A God You Can Dance (CanDance Productions) and Singing in the Pandaleshwar Caves (Alsop Review Press). I serve as contributing
editor for Umbrella (www.umbrellajournal.com) and am on the staff of Alsop Review's Gazebo.