Skirt, My Pretty Name

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and the space between my name and myself grows larger until... .- Rosalie Sings Alone

after several valium and a cup of coffee, I feel sweet and contented. the city is dangerous,prurient and I am a woman of mystery. I ask the waitress for some napkins and whisper,my husband's brains are in my hands. I ask her to regard the blood and tissue, the horror of mydress. I am wearing tinted sunglasses, a chiffon scarf, patterned with lemons and cherries,my wig, my hair is concealed, it really is awful, a cerise coloured rat's nest and it itches,badly. when I leave, I move smoothly through the streets, clutching my shopping bags; I fit my key intothe lock and gaze at my calling card, that reads: skirt, my pretty name

I am applying lee press on nails and listening to The Magic of Mantovani. I am having a nervousbreakdown. you don't bring me flowers, I remember coming home once and finding a sprig of lilacson my doorstep and I held them and I thought of him l love. he was a merchant marine, and I was hisnoviciate. I held conch shells to his ears while he slept, so he could hear the sea,the sheets billowed like sails when he kissed me. he would powder my nose, he traced hisfingers down my thighs, my flaw. he was never, he was rarely cruel to me. when he left, Iwore a mourning veil and sewed starfish over my eyes. I cried like a siren, I slashed mywrists with a broken bottle. it lay on the carpet shattered, with a message, a silver ship inits base

weeks in the hospital, without perfume, or candy, and I still have no friends. yesterday, a mancame over to me and screamed about the accident, the blood! I shrank, smaller, into my sweaterand imagined I was somewhere else. the women in the restaurant smile when I take their pictureswith a pink instamatic and I offer them spoonfuls of chocolate, my number. I am staring at thetelephone now, willing it to ring, cradling it in my arms and my stomach is turning. I beat myselfwith my fists, I stick my ribs with pins and needles, my loneliness is relentless. I seeits constancy in the spreading bruises, the green and yellow echoes. I am the quietest object here,I could rest here always, never moving

only breathing, the faintest shadow. slowly turning the pages of my library book:Fashion in the 1970's and naming the dances under my breath. I would step fromside to side and do the hustle, but I am tired and solemn. I am the light thatjewels their white pantsuits; the mirrored disco ball made of shattered stars.the dancers sway beneath me in an orbit and sometimes stare, with a comb or atissue. they see that they are broken, mortal, and they look away.

© Crosbie Lynn