Often theatrical skills aren’t as valued as methodical ones
& as our spending on apparel declines, retailers claim
it’s the fault of the weather – tonight, it’s broiling & the drying
will take as long as it took for me to be discarded, informally –
yet as potently as detergent pouring into all entry points.
There are two sheer gowns in the washing machine.
I lift the lid of the top-loader & drape the dresses over
my forearms to carry them toward my foldable clotheshorse
set up on the balcony concrete – its stainless steel legs & rods
held together with plastic hooks. I’ve washed the gowns as I plan
on wearing them again with times & locations unknown.
Pleasure shouldn’t come from accuracy, neither should value.
My approach to the horse forces a fly into the air & it vanishes
above the balcony railing. If only I too could abandon this dimly
lit tragedy. The gowns leave my hands & forearms damp –
I savour this mutual attraction as I tender each gown
over the top tiers of the horse. I think about the word lucidity
& can’t accept that it doesn’t refer to gushing liquids. I want
to hand-wash myself with the gowns in a plastic bucket of cold
water to avoid the tremors of any machine. This might sound
severe but it’s a desire & doesn’t this conjure a kind of warmth?
I’m skirting fragile textures – it’s a mesh with many situated
beginnings. I want to make it a feeling, give it the depth
of an open palm – no matter how it might callous. I stand
beside my horse & it doesn’t buck, never throws me off.
As long as I’m indebted to this scene – in full mesh I’ll gallop.
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