Hello, lovely disguise. Come swing short and loose
around my thighs. Cowl my neckline, let my throat
rise out of your yellow folds like a virgin.
Cup my shoulders; cling to my breasts so closely
that my skin accepts you, sister, knit and pieced
by strangers' hands, but closer to my body
than my own husband. You absorb in your stitching
my wrist's vanilla and anise, the sweat of anxiety,
a hasty last morsel of soup, or blood from a bandage
pulled off too soon. And those gazes I scorned
when I was younger—I accept them so eagerly now,
not knowing how long my face will stay,
how long I'll be able to walk on these legs, slim
in black tights, before sickness forces me down.
When no man will want me for a lover, or dream
of pulling you over my head, you'll caress me,
won't you? You'll be with me, faithful friend,
when my body starts to turn.