Fall 2019 / Poetry 2019 / Volume 50

First Day in a Piece of Woman’s Clothing By: Jeffrey Alfier

Summer walk, 6 a.m. Still dark,

                 he pulls on the sleeveless top —

                                white, brand name: Chico’s. 


Clouds buoy a waning moon —

               a gray stasis, brushing

                                trees untroubled by wind.


Shadows hedge houses,

                 crowd sidewalks

                                  in the echo of his footfalls.


Dew has seeped through a car window.

               Nightbirds flank him,

                              songless in the late hour.


Dimmer switches set low,

                offer glances

                                  of still vacant kitchen tables.


He can’t put a name to this unsung ease

                he feels, unbroken by a door slammed,

                                steps quickening


through the gaining light —

                a young woman off to work,

                                her headlights eclipsing his eyes.

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