by Rebecca Morton
Anita bryant’s pageant
Before the opening sashay to the stage, white As children we’d meet
ribbon draped from your shoulder blade, you stood each summer evening
so close to the other waiting girls. And though at the ravine and field’s
you watched for your cue, you also gazed seam, our cupped hands
at the girl in front of you. Her powder scooping arcs in the air.
and foundation smoothed into her brunette roots, Under stars we’d stand,
baby-fine hair dusting her bare arms. You’re your toes to mine. Turn our
not sure why, but you almost reached your hand palms up. Let the fireflies’ white-
out to her. Anita, that was me, and I can tell you drop light between us
that I moved into your breath on the nape of my neck. pulse and rise.
night and day with zaha hadid
It’s never raining in your concrete world,
except yesterday it was raining a little bit.
Your black scarf seized the humid
opportunity to billow and rebillow
about your shoulders: sprouting
pinprick water droplets as we walked
your concrete canyon which
the visiting architects earnestly admired.
Today, maybe it is raining as we move
through the windowless halls
of pink and yellow shoes and bras.
“If I were born a man, so what. But also,”
your eyes track left to right, “also,
they wouldn’t ask the stupid questions.”
Your eyebrows rise onto your forehead
bringing the rest of your face along.
If you’d been born a man we wouldn’t be
at this glass-box counter holding amber,
rose, and sand. The lady politely,
but with urgency, suggests you sit in her chair.
We both observe how she very much
wants to press her foam wedge to your face.
You remove the sheerest and darkest lipsticks
from the hole-punched grid, “These
will be fine.” The lady bristles from your decision,
strains to steady her voice, “Um, well, maybe
you’d like–” always ready for this, you reanchor
your floating-away scarf and interrupt, “I would not.”
Rebecca Morton is currently working on her first manuscript. Her poetry has appeared in Floating Bridge Review, Hoarse, and elsewhere. She lives in Seattle with her wife and two children.