Litany

That first morning after her divorce
she burns her floral apron, the lilac shoes
with stiletto heels, the kumquat blouse, a cape

of steel blue. She rummages through a box marked Summer,
pulls free the orange bikini, sands of Newport Beach glitter

on her fingers. She adds huaraches to the pile, caresses
the slit neck of the caftan, the bell sleeves imprinted

with patterns that once filled her with desire. She combs the drawers,
thick with night silks, grabs the grey necks of cashmere turtles,

the hems of sequined peasants, scoops bandeaux, tanks, halters.
She nearly misses contentment, tossed forgotten over the back of the chair,

tired from excessive wear. She plucks grace from the wardrobe, bitter
with pearls of denial, tosses in the worn out boots, soles walked through,

skin of remittance clinging to the inside. The cropped denim imaginings
and early pea coat silences try to hide their folds in dark closet,

but she rips them free. That morning after her divorce, she strikes
the match against her naked iron thigh, licks the flame across her lips,

makes promises, tattoos a glowing coal with her new name.
The smoke rises, a ball gown stretching its satin arms to the sky.

Published in:
The Comstock Review
Fall/Winter 2015

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