The memory of clothes
Somewhere in a filing room with corrugated cardboard and dried blood
Her skirt of 06 is folded by a uniformed man
Who isn’t used to folding women’s clothes.
She’ll not be wearing it again
It’s evidence of a crime committed
Of a bad start and a hundred reasons why
Gut instinct should be heeded
Something she didn’t know back then
Packing and unpacking
The acutrements of a life
Worn a little faded and down at the sole.
Some days she’d sleep
In your oversized rock concert T-shirt
Smelling the distant indifference of your brand of love
Others, it’d be the outline of a coat hung in hallway
Reminding her of nightmares she thought left behind.
Wherever you go there you are
The psychology majors chimed in falcetto chorus
And they didn’t know she was running because she was so versed at standing in place
“Cheese” Smile for the camera, the paedophile, the friend who isn’t
That day she wore a pink beret and she’s always worn hats
To disguise herself from her own scrutiny.
You liked those scarlet hose and how her underwear didn’t match
You even liked the outline she left in your well worn yellow bedsheets.
Despite that she’s a ghost
Wearing hand me down clothes without label
Posing in storefronts
For feelings dipped in formaldehyde.
If she could step into a time machine
She’d escape her own bad tempo
Retreating to a distant past
Where the clothes she wore
Carried no memory
Or voices scolding over radio wave
Like a diver unable to exclaim aloud
When the white whale comes into view.
That’s all she sees sometimes
Outlines, shadows and snuff stinging her eyes
Snapshots of who she was before
The picture was over-exposed.
There she is
Running breathless down a stony beach
Toward nothing and no-one and still
There’s a peace in her eyes that’s absent, she makes up for
With midnight blue and eighties pink
Just like kids who paint their dolls and dress them
Ready to begin a new game
On the other side
Of starting over.
They sell her size by the dozen
And other women wear it well
She’s ready to dissolve to the bottom
Like malt and sugar stirs with mint
And creates momentary confusion
Is it sweet?
Or is it bitter?
Try her on
She’s a glove that may fit
Your fingers will be too short, too long
Your palm a might too thick
With her Pantone of regret.