The Georgian Dress
With each string, stitch and bead
I try to imagine how beautiful she was –
The woman, the dress she wore –
Suspended - delicately silver-white -
In this museum – half-cellar, or eternal shade.
Braidless, eyeless, lipless
It gleams between the shelves,
And gleam – the rubies in velvet headdresses,
The rings and daggers and colored shards of pottery –
Around this dress – forgotten or betrayed forever –
As too heavy, or long or dazzling.
I stand here – in front of the dress and free of it.
I’d like the dress and the whole body –
to melt for lightness. But still, so light
From this distance – the dress becomes a poem
And a wish: to put it on, brush with my hand and let
The silver of the moths fly off –
With whiteness – kept on me.