Dress rehearsal rag

She had stood still. Small
bones bound in hard
foreign heels. Body wounded
wound in band-aid
shroud. Found
listing. Stitched
intricate with the great weight
of his colossal wishings.

She stood, still. Saw
he had left, had left her
tattooed ablaze in blue. Left
her heavy in helix sequins,
tricked-up mirrors, leaden
beads. Left that failed
wedding dress of shimmer and glint
tacked to skin with falsehoods
fine as hair. He had sewn her up.
Sutured tight. Tiny needled
nips made each breath
tug    tear    shred. She bled
and he called it love.

With sharp scissors she severed a thread
Left sequins    beads    mirrors
          all to fall
               Fall like scales
                    like cataracts
                              like darkly

Left a messed        maze of
                  broken shadows        dying      lights
     scattered ashes.            Left a shattered
                        mess                        of wedding
          dress, dress          rehearsal

Sandie Walker (Western Australia)

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