Blue Dress

I’ve hung my light blue                               

evening gown on the bedroom

door so that at night,

when I turn away from you to sleep,

I still have something to look at—

this dress hung with small moons

of ice, tiny globes of light.

It shines like a disco ball,

awash with miniature spotlights.

You sleep easy and deep,

breathing warm boy thoughts

into the pillow. Our cats

guard the window where the moon

peeks through. And I look

to the dress where it hovers

in a host of shadows.

It floats beside us, ghostly

and bright, buoying the night

with a thousand fireflies.

Meeting Your Married Man

You try not to expect much. You know

There’s someone else he pledged his loyalty to, at least

In the eyes of the church and the state of Minnesota.

Your state is confusion. You lose the ability to chit-chat,

Your agility in crowded supermarkets, your sense

Of humor. The fact that you are a walking, talking cliché

Serves to enervate rather than amuse you.

You get a vibrant rash on your upper arms

And breasts. You scratch it in the wrong places,

Like malls, meetings, and subway cars.

Men give you the once-over and nod knowingly,

Smirking. You want to slap them, wonder

If you’re wearing a sandwich board                                

Or scarlet letter that advertises your disorder.

This is a disease. Neither one of you is at ease.

At the restaurant, he’s clumsier than usual: chokes

On his croissant, spills coffee when you sneeze.

You wonder what he’s like when he’s with her. With you

He’s as nervous as a stand-up comedian, tense

As a violin. When it’s time for the “assignation,” as you

Jokingly call it, you’re both more thumbs than fingers.

You become so helpless with zippers and buttons

You take to wearing clothes that slip over your head.

He does away with undershirts and belts. You don’t buy

A whole new wardrobe. Mostly you just make do

With what you already have and keep your eyes out

For discontinued labels, for mark downs, irregulars,

For some only slightly damaged goods. 

Belongings

I’ve read a lot of poems, heard lots of talk

About Lot’s wife and the whole last look incident.

When she got God riled up, when she got herself

Turned into a pillar of salt, deaf to the world.

A statue of seasoning in a culinary coma.

Perhaps she was one of those curious,

Impetuous Biblical women

Following in the footsteps of Eve.

Genetically unable to avoid temptation,

She just had to look.

But I think she knew full well

What she was doing. She didn’t last

That long in a damned neighborhood

Because she was a dumb bunny.

Some suggest it was love that did her in—

(Yes, someone always blows that horn).

They’d have you believe

She was so stricken over leaving

Her lover, her bread and butter,

Her perky flame from Sodom,

That she risked life as sodium.

Don’t buy it.

By the time she turned to look,

She knew he was toast.

She may have been a soft touch,

But she was no ninny.

Truth is, she was basically

A homebody at heart. A housewife

Who embodied the phrase, who felt

More married to her home than to her husband.

When the flames started licking

The streets of her town, she knew

All was lost. For the sake of appearances,

She agreed to lift her skirt hem

And run alongside Lot one last time.

The tears she wept were for the things

She left behind. Her whatnots, her knickknacks

And doodads. The pieces of a life.

She only looked back to see if she could tell

Which blazing house was hers.

Angie Blake-Moore
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