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In the Red Dress I Wear to Your Funeral (Section 7)

I was never your Intended,

never meant to be the official widow

like that plain, chinless girl I refused to recognize

or comprehend.


But the plain ones are patient, aren’t they?


I’ll admit, she’s earned her orchestra seats

at this burial the old-fashioned way.


She’s up front, next to your mama,

that Chanel commando baked medium-well

in her spray-on tan. A rare example

of a real Southern lady—how many nights

did it cost her, patrolling

the family compound for Jezebels like me?


Your women, dead man. From here

they look like two snap peas squatting

in the same pod.

And they did their job, didn’t they?

They made it easy for you?


But later, once the ladies go,

I’ll climb down to you again.


I’ll come to you in that dirty box

where we’ve already slept for years,

keeping our silent house

under their avalanche of flowers.

from Black BoxFind it in the library

Copyright © 2006 Erin Belieu
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Erin Belieu Poems

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