Sometimes, You Know Just How You’ll Look

From the moment the single brass button closes
with ease and the red-pleated skirt– a pure red, true, single-minded, with the zeal
of a zealot, an alarm– laid flat on your always troublesome hips: the tags
still attached, the yellow light of the fitting room greasing your skin, blue jeans
inside out and scissor-legged on the floor, two white socks like ragged ghosts

at their mouths– but there it is, size 6, a skirt that places you betwixt
the woman you are and the teen you were, a cheerleader, a flutist, a sex bomb, hungry, hungry girl. Such power there is in the pleated skirt. The flirt of the flat front, saucy lift in the back, the never-ending fact of the twirl and return to form: darling, earlier tonight, I rolled my black stockings with care from the tip of my toes to the top of

my hip, the spot you like to nip at. I added fat pearls to leave on with the skirt: sometimes, you know just how you look, having plotted it for days, weeks, since the moment you fell hard for the taste of danger and another’s sweet and salty tongue entering your mouth: I am laid out in love on the floor, hand clutching the black forest hair of your chest, this is the best thing I know, woman with the trace of red lips, red

skirt, black stockings tangled at her toes, collar of pearls yoking me to the stranger
I am, the woman you’ve made, who I love to tell about, love to become.


About evanduyne

I'm assistant professor of writing at Stockton University, where I'm also affiliated faculty in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. I work on Sylvia Plath, contingent faculty, and creative writing around trauma and domestic violence.
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