Said the Skirt to the Bulge Beneath It: You never felt uglier than in corduroy, the twisting fibers, the olive green, the heavyweight denial of your shape. The first time you felt it screeching below your fingers you vowed never to let it come between your knees. You sacrificed their angles to a mosaic of scabs as you learned how the blades don’t bend. Your mother offered no advice and no clean tissues. Nobody told you about the communion of static or how to find the front of a thong. You learned on your own the secret of black patent leather heels: not that they reflect up, as Sister Mary warned, but the way they can be coupled with anything. The corner boutique divides its array by color, by size, by curvature and Christian names. You are not wrong to resist this sweaty cluster of labels. The skirt is an awkward ally, blotting your envy of what is created exactly to pattern. You are not a hasty alteration. Every boy you see in the club contains a wrinkled novel, a bottomless opera, a long-expired feast. One of them loves the taste of mascara. Another will only undress beneath a sticky lightbulb. You watch them at closing, buying and selling their jars of footnotes and wishing you could hang yours on the clothesline to kick out the stool from below. But nothing calls you like a zipper or holds you like a hem. Nothing cuts you like an ironed pleat. What you would not give to be a window. You will rupture with fashion, you will linger in the slip. You will let nothing deny the intimacy of your thighs. Let their crossing be a true horizon, every lover willing to sail on, every lover trusting last of all his eyes.
AmyDavid is a poet, performer, and Ph.D student from Evanston, IL. She has competed at the National Poetry Slam three times as a member of the Chicago - Green Mill team and was an instigator of the first-ever disqualification from group piece finals. Her work has appeared most recently in WordRiot, Shit Creek Review, The November 3rd Club, APICS Magazine, and the Chicago Redeye’s 5 on 5.