Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Red Dress


The Red Dress


I don't want to. I don't want to give you away. I still long to be the young girl I once was who could slip so easily into your silhouette.

But you were not young when you came to me, you were already old - it was a generation before. You were born from the hands of a woman who believed in the magic of needle and thread, good cotton fabric, the hum of a sewing machine, the feel of new seams, and the beauty of buttons. She made an art out of sewing, transforming the simply flat into exquisite form.

One time, maybe the best time, I wore you when I danced. The late afternoon sunlight was streaming through the studio windows, making long shadows of your full gathered skirt. The music felt sacred and permeated the atmosphere with magic and grace. I twirled and you followed, a beat behind me, like an echo or a trace of light. I melted into the floor, laying you upon it softly and with dignity. The floor was our friend. I rolled and somersaulted around the room, losing sight of space and time. I liked to be upside-down and you liked to be inside-out. We were proud of our eccentricities.

But how can I describe your red? Oh to find the words! Like roses, of course. And blood from the prick of their thorns. The heat of a bonfire, the blush of a passionate kiss, the taste of strawberries in the spring, the love of a good man. I saw your red once before in a dream, but I have forgotten what it was. Maybe it was a mirror to my soul.

But now I am old and my waist strains against your thin tight belt. We no longer fit each other. It is sad, but expected. The spread of flesh over time. It is time to say good-bye. Find a new life with a new generation.