Borrowed Dress

Cathy Colman

 
He left the room, assured of his immortality--
or was it just his cologne?
I once wanted his money--not really his money,
but the freshly minted coins of reason.
His hands smelling like prime numbers.
I once wanted his swagger, his fame
but without the dental work.
I'm reminded that my destiny was
to stand reflected in the infinity-inducing
mirrors with other women in restaurant
bathrooms who pat their hair, make that little
moue with their lips;
who return to the tables of men,
their hands wet, body hairs galvanized
like filaments of iron. Strange how
everything is orderly even in dissipation
when leaves blizzard the pavement.
I don't see them land but their fall,
the event of it, is still present, almost invisible.
 
Winner of the 2001 Felix Pollack Prize in Poetry. Copyright © 2001 by Cathy Colman. Reprinted by permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. All rights reserved.

Further Reading

Poems and Clothing
"What Do Women Want?"
by Kim Addonizio
Aedh wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
by W. B. Yeats
Black Jackets
by Thom Gunn
Black Nikes
by Harryette Mullen
Coat
by Peg Boyers
Couture
by Mark Doty
Dialect of a Skirt
by Erica Miriam Fabri
Dressmaker
by Éireann Lorsung
Duality
by Tina Chang
Fat Southern Men in Summer Suits
by Liam Rector
My Shoes
by Charles Simic
Ode to a Dressmaker's Dummy
by Donald Justice
Old Coat
by Liam Rector
Red Shoes
by Honor Moore
Shirt
by Robert Pinsky
The Plaid Dress
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Upon Julia's Clothes
by Robert Herrick
Wedding Dress
by Michael Waters
White T-shirt
by Lewis Ellingham