Poem by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Photo by Jill Burhans

My Dress Hangs There, 2010

A woman puts on memory, pulls it over her hips, makes the bleak seam match the steeples of her legs. I hang mine up on the French door, watching the light shake me into flares. History walks around my body. Its knobby sweet hips twist in time with a score I bear. In the middle of this city I am between ruin and love. The space is a thin breath. I watch the street and dangle my shadow between two hotels. The woman called memory will never have enough blood to wear. But there is my tongue near the curb. There are the scrolls of my hair. The feathers I wore at my ears. A cat walks off holding a piece of my cheek in its mouth. In the street I listen to workmen whistle, looking up at the blue that is struggling to jump. Light through white silk on my pulse. The woman called history will never kneel at night. She will never pay twice for laughter, eat bribes or hearts. The woman named history can have any woman she wants. The loves of men are spared from silk. Any life. Any defeat. Across the way I watch her unloose moonlight. The height of skin for a while. And then. 

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