Bandelettes

Bandelettes

I am searching in the toolbox for the tape measure
to wrap around the widest part of my thigh. 
I need a number. 

It’s not like that—
		I am past a shame that can be calculated so easily.

What I am not past the how this city’s lakeside swelter
blooms the rosy skin beneath my sundress to a burning 
that neither sweet baby oil nor snowy talcum powder can mend.

One night you came home to me spread-eagle
and wincing in front of the whirring fan,
thought that whatever did that to me must be contagious.

No, no, honey. Just the price of looking good.

So here I am snapping resistant metal around what,
through a lifetime of team sports, 
				depressive seasons,
			nights outs,
				and morning bagels,
has always lacked the certainty of a doorframe or a floorboard.

The woman in the video wraps a cloth band
designed for such a task
around her own tan and tidy skin with a tailor’s precision.
Smiling, she selects the circlet of lace that will save her
from a fate so raw as mine, slides it up like a film noir stocking.

Yes, yes. I want that.

I get my number, 
	place the order,
		hang a photo of us since the hammer’s already out.
			

-Published in Zoetic Press’s Write Like You’re Alive 2016 Anthology

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