-1Falling asleep in Ball Gowns

She has taught herself to dream in ball gowns,
growing thin at the frame, as if her collar bones
were metallic wires holding her devotion together.

Not far from here she is wrinkling
herself into the arms of a boy,

letting all tethers break apart from herself;
letting all of the sounds stop -

except (that is) for the sloshing vibrations
of the car's plowing across the cement on the
street outside. Their feral howls let humid
cat-calls curl the knee-high yellow grass at
the tip, each time sending a violent crescendo

She does not wear jewelry; instead
she has curled wild blue bells around her
fingers with string; looped ivy through the
wholes in her ears, and smeared pomegranate
juice at the base of her neck -

she wants to smell like the earth, and
when he touches her, she wants him
to feel the whole word inside her. It billows out
from her like a sail caught in the eye of a storm,

but he is not a storm, he is
soft undulation, he is all fingers
in her hair, all soft plumes of limbs
cradling her until she feels ready
to come undone.

She'll spend the autumn much in this way,
coiled against him like matted rope; ebullient
but for the hope of time; because love is something
to be cultivated,

something that would always drive them
squarely together; something never to wedge them

In the winter the pictures of them capture
a frozen Formica of d├ęcolletage; her gowns
become longer, their sleep becomes deeper;
where in the night she watches thin webbing
silhouettes fall across the gray walls, moving,
always moving, though often times they search out
calmness just to breathe,

and in that same still-born coloring of hope she
reaches her fingers out; says: Who are you love?
Moving as you do across time, like a shadow,
thinning and thickening with the changeable moment
And she touches his scalp, planting her dry lips on his skin,
feeling him sigh against her.

a/n: written for the August Writing Contest, via The Review Game