the wax paper

Marylin Winkle

CLOSET REMINISENCES

I. Why I’ve Never Owned a Pair of Rainboots                                                                                                                                        I once danced barefoot,
splashing in puddles on concrete, diving                                                                                                                                       through wetness to other dimensions--
not a toddler in floral, but a goddess,
a voice that thundered everyone else inside.                                                                                                                                        The rain was mine.

Sometimes shoes get wet. 
My father rushed through thunderstorms
to school, flushed and soggy-socked. 
At home, I marveled my cold, pale toes,                                                                                                                                     shriveled like Grandma’s, except
sunning would never bring her back.

When my ex moved to Texas,
I told him, “Take anything but the cat,”
not knowing I’d lose all seven umbrellas.
En route to San Francisco, 
I laughed at locals for not knowing
that wet air is not the same as rain. 
My smile slipped away with my umbrella. 
I became Medusa on the evening train, 
too scorned and poor to buy rain boots. 

I learned the trick to dry socks is: don’t wear any.

II. Past Tense
Sister and I shared underwear
until Little Mermaid’s face faded,
secrets sewn in cotton pockets.


We both saw him coming
through three o’clock dark,
two pillow-pressed skulls,                                                                                                                                                                        

two thrashing mattresses                                                                                                                                                                     under cheap thread count                                                                                                                                                                         like arranged marriage.

After each hurricane,
we waded floodwater, 
chasing custody, catching ducklings.

III. Elegy for the Moon                                                                                                                                                                Altostratus bra straps
adorn worn shoulders,
flushed modest against
sweat-stained glass sunsets.

I fear I'll never see her
crescent forehead descend                                                                                                                                                                 beneath the carbon quilt. 

Where is the moon?

Her silhouette glows on
fossilized memory foam
like our last evening leaking
into infinite atmosphere.

 

Marylin Winkle is a feminist author, scholar, musician, and social change advocate. She currently resides in Los Angeles where she will soon be completing a DMA in Early Music at the University of Southern California, where she has been devoted to the study and performance of works by early-modern women.