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My Dress

Molly Tenenbaum

Buttonhole waistward.
A tie-end answers.

Once, salmon silk, a leopard belt—
spotted extinctions and switched to calico potholder.

Consistent as sheer dirndl, tectonics
of woven bamboo, homespun of butter.

Quilting of instant bambino. Quiz: Creation
or shopping? Blatant in blossoms. Money, filmy.

Cotton print alphabet, cotton print kitten.
Torn between representational. I was ever

gapped or bunched. Did you see me, falling
from crosspaneled tops? Couldn't commit

tucked or out, resist a ruffle,
piping, smocking, contrasting flounce—

how I hung on each new natural fiber.
As tencel is now, once was rayon.

Commandments: Shalt never dry clean, whatever the label.
Shalt not pay new, but a dollar a pound every Sunday.

Shalt give it back if it pinches, or matches
nothing, or goes without wearing,

next time the collection passes—every third week,
the truck for the blind hits my street.

Molly Tenenbaum

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