College girl in a dress

Because it was 89 degrees Fahrenheit

and because yesterday bloated gray sludge

down on us

and because tomorrow promises to be the same as yesterday

Today I allowed, after much deliberation

and careful reading of my constitution (ossature, lipids, sunscreen)

a small dress sandwiched in a black cardigan

my white skin a surrender a fish slat-open in the sun

begging for vultures to swoop in and pull from between thin bones

every misuse of “marginalization”

to burn under their magnifying glasses

circle and slash with red ink.

And only because

every other girl had sprouted a dress from northwestern skin

so accustomed to colorless certitude, and every petal-clad girl

had become a corsage on the wrist of some guy or other

floating like two-week-old cherry-flutter-blossoms down the stream

which only flows downhill, naturally. And only because

beneath my window is a square of sand gridded by a net over which

inter-pounce volleyballs pollenating the tender forearms of boys and girls

some of which are shirtless and all of whom take sides

Only because

there was a lichen-enamored bench to hide at anyway and watch the cars zipline by

and listen to rock crashing out windows unrolled

because I am no different from the others

because no one cares about me (which means I’m free)

and because it was 89 degrees Fahrenheit outside,

I allowed a dress

to become my coverment

from eyes and borderlines

today. The decision was well-thought-out and meant nothing at all

and certainly had nothing to do with the fact

that

I saw a particular boy

smiling and corsaged by a particular

girl in a dress and that girl was not me and they were both smiling.

So rare to see him in joy, so rare to see him at all

in sunlight I wonder what he could be hiding

in wondering I retreat beneath the jaded leaves

where no one can see me and mark me

with a red line

through my body which is the wrong body

nothing to do with the price of seeds

and whether the flowers grow tall and strong

in a blood-dazzled line.

Jan_Trampota_-_Na_louce_(Divá_Bára)

Image by Jan Trampota – internet, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29455048

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