its warm bodice and intricate lace

tells nothing of its past

which I know

from a black and white sign

hung on an outlet rack.

“smoke damaged garments, price reduced.”

a bubbly clerk,

“from a building fire in the L.A. riots;

they smell fine.”

“much sweeter than perfume.” a value.


all gussied up in near-looted cloth,

worn resistance.

like donning a slab of the Berlin Wall

with frills attached.

and that is why I have written this

across the breast of your treasure.

and see within its weave

a monochrome of politics,

you, and a burning riot on your back.

You Might Also Enjoy

The Men

Lydia Millet

You could almost call them a squad—sometimes as many as seven, when they all pitched in.


Baffler Newsletter

New email subscribers receive a free copy of our current issue.

Further Reading

Heads Up: We recently updated our privacy policy to clarify how and why we collect personal data. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this policy.