IT IS AN OIL PAINTING OF CASSATT’S LITTLE GIRL IN A BLUE ARMCHAIR

(a study of Anne Carson’s The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos)

Stronger than coffee this morning.

She dreamt she was a guy who wanted to dress like a girl. Or was she a girl
dreaming about wanting to dress like a guy?

She gathered her flailing body parts, her regrets,
stalks of wheat, a bluebird’s feather fallen from society’s
hurricanes.

She wore a tie and satchel on Tuesday but Thursday forbade guys
from donning a silky skirt and blush-colored knee highs.
Summer silenced.

She didn’t look right. More like left-over corners.
Fractured parking lots, too warm, inherently periwinkled
with doubt.

Breathe. Just breathe.

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