record

writing it all down turns out to be like shopping.
imagine it now: you waltz through bright racks,
finger the cloth of social mobility, memorize the textures,
marinate in the wash of copyrighted dyes.

suddenly drunk on the smell of new leather,
you begin to see yourself more interesting,
certainly more attractive but also more complex
than you suspected. more mysterious.

each ensemble puts you in a garden party
or a glossy dinner tableau out of gormet magazine.
everyone invited wants to be seen speaking
with that man over there — or is it mannequin?

doesn’t matter. in your mind’s eye, you steal the show.
your bags and social calendar are full at last.

you exit and immediately begin approaching that sure hour
when time and illusion fall away,
the endless moment in which you find yourself naked
in an attic full of clothes, no engagements,

alone at dusk (when far below, women clatter
in to the streets on the arms of men like yourself,
en route to the soirees you will never attend,
popping champagnes you will never taste).

writing it down puts you in that attic
with your purchases. perhaps a mirror.
and, if you’re lucky, a window. some way back down.

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