i put on my mother’s sundress
corn-flower colored, flowing.
what a false sense of freedom.
poised as summer in the center
of a cold house, yellow joy
in the midst of blues, a girl
at a woman’s time of descendance.
in front of this full-length mirror
who thinks about the woman
she cannot be?
covered in butterfly tattoos
with the belly-button ring
proud of her color
ok with birthmarks
ok with no hips
ok with a full belly
ok with flabby arms
ok with no breasts or one
with the hair below her navel
re-gendered, un-gendered, all
who is smart, quick, strong
who is slow, weak, befuddled
able to be loved
loves herself unconditonally.
there are too many ways to be in this dress.
i never saw my mother in it.
she lived a battleship grey life
always at war with the world, with herself.
in a frayed, faded housecoat, defeated
she sat all day in the dirty kitchen
playing some symphony’s sad second movement
on the record player over, over, over again.
maybe i should get out of this dress
return to being her son
the son who could not help loving
the men he loved
ones who broke mirrors violently
the son who understood grey
the disappointment of yellow
that knew a music that repeated
over, over, over again in his head.
one who tried on a dress that didn’t fit.
~ Alexander Perez