A Dress Deferred
Your bruised chest, rotting plums,
sunken nipples shift in the dark.
You crave the deltoids to uphold this weight
The jaw of a warrior to cut with your words,
To make a clear decision. To make any decision.
You’d shrink yourself to the size of a cork
and roam in this crinoline till moths ate you.
You’d spit on the bike, the northern wind,
the piece of wood, the jigsaw that stole him
if your tear ducts would redirect the moisture to your mouth.
You’d plunge into the creek’s rapids
if you didn’t know how to swim.
Your friends hold your hands,
they hold your hands above your head
“it’s a victory
Now you know
You know now”
and the promising “we”s are replaced
with delicate “I”s
as if removing an extra place setting
as if you were never expecting to eat—
as if you always expected to eat alone.