dresses

by mickharris

some women wear dresses like they’re made for them

like they grew a second skin overnight

floating in and out of everyone’s vision

strings attached to the balls of their feet, just a little flick of the wrist and up

onto the toes they go.

me, i look at myself in the dim mirrored bart window

and see flesh leaking out of the arm holes, not quite cinched in by an ill-fitting bra

digging into my sternum.

i see a waistline hidden, lying.

i see a color that looked better in my bedroom two hours ago

maybe through sleep-bleary eyes

maybe through a good dose of hope.

i don’t bounce, or flit.

i try not to plod or stomp, and i have to remind myself that i have heels on

that generations of women before me learned to walk in them

shop in them

please everyone in them.

the least i can do, i think, is try not to walk like godzilla

or a girl playing dress-up in her mother’s pointed 70s nightmares.

i tell myself there are certain colors i can’t wear, but really

what it means is there are colors that don’t fully cover the depressed space in my heart

where the love for what i look like (who i am)

should go.

i don’t mean to be melodramatic, but it’s easy to get caught up in the lace that doesn’t sit right, or the particular pink that makes me feel 5, chocolate-smeared or grass-stained and forever tugging the skirt down like i’m told.

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