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institute Sesquiotic


Clothing memory

You told me you have a story
for every shirt you wear,
for every dress or skirt,
for every underthing:
"I bought this blouse in Boston
on the third day of my period;
I just broke up with my boyfriend.
I spilled merlot on it."
But that white T-shirt, now,
and those half-fraying jeans
with butterflies on each butt cheek,
and the thong underneath,
where did they come from?
And how about that bra—
that B-cup lying somewhere,
drawer or bed or lamp,
the one that you're not wearing,
what's the story there?
What do you mean not wearing it?
Have you decided, now,
to unlive that moment?
Was it the bra you wore
the last time you felt really dirty,
and do you wish to be
so fresh and clean for me,
gleaming amnesiacally,
like China cups under linen?
Will you unlive that time
you bought this MS T-shirt
autographed by Bill Gates
because of some sexy geek?
Will you unlive these jeans
in which, perhaps, you lost
your flower — not to me?
And tomorrow, or next week,
or seven months from now,
your T-back underpants,
will you forgo them too?
Will you exercise
in denim on bare skin?
Will you unlive this night?


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