When a girl is born,
layers of her soul are stripped off
and sent into the atmosphere.
The lady-shaped shadows
flutter out into tailors’ workshops
and textile factories, into
closets and shops
where garments dangle, bodiless
skins. Like dress patterns,
the cross-sections of soul
crinkle as they meet fabric, pressing
themselves into being.
There comes a time
in a girl’s life when a gown is needed.
She will be married,
or will attend a grand
dance or party. There is only one dress
for her, and it waits
for her to select it, to
occupy its fabric as muscles stretch flesh.
If she chooses the right
dress, that one dress
lined with her soul, she will know it
by her anatomy’s instant
and perfect alignment.
She will know that she has been formed
in order to fill it out