is as if we can see all the stitches
at the seams of the borrowed dress you
wear to the Wee Red Bar, your flat-mate
next night to a Fire Engines gig – on whose hips it

falls a bit differently (for you it’s all throat);
but there’s no stitch to see au pays
de metaphor, where the frock heads off
(without so much as an as if) toute

seule to the Hoochie Coochie Club; and girls
of slender means, we meet the peachy dawn,
fingering golden cinches, our diamante clasps,
all blurry-eyes, suspiring: who is she

walking home now? We long to press back
the fine wool crepe, to take a damp cloth
to crushed pleats, to pin the torn hem, suspend
in wilful lavender, hope against stains.

© Jane Goldman 2009