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.