Apartment to apartment, dorm to dorm,
Across the country by plane, I carried you.
You were a soft and silky “little number,”
Plucked from the shelves, or was that me?
From shopping mall to honkytonk hotel room,
Later donned to make others feel special, not him.
Knowledge changes how we see an object, how we see
Ourselves—no longer as objects to be donned or to adorn.
Gauzy, lacey white panties, matching camisole,
I held you in my hands, seized by your sudden presence.
Alone, in a modest single room apartment, me unpacking,
Soon-to-be first husband out of sight and sound,
I saw you for the first time, even though I’d first worn you
For the one who spread out on the bed and urged: “Twirl.”
He 31, I 13, ages inverted, I now 26, curled your apparition into a ball as the
Sheer fire of you cleaved my mind.
We split ourselves in two. She before.
But you, Love, saw from the other room, draped your robe over my
Clothed, soon-chilled figure, and walked me gently into the night.
An empty darkened lot, a dumpster, me, and a match lit,
A tender touch from you as the fire and power became mine.
The wooden stick, so small, I flung to the gravel, myself still numb.
As the flames quickly and quietly consumed that little number,
White innocence turned yellow smoked hot
& I began to slowly remember who I now was.
Deirdre Fagan is a widow, wife, mother of two, and author of a chapbook, Have Love (Finishing Line Press, 2019), and a forthcoming collection of short stories, The Grief Eater (Adelaide, 2020). She is an associate professor and coordinator of creative writing at Ferris State University. Meet her at deirdrefagan.com
Image via Pixabay