Notes from Philly weblog


with 2 comments

When Philip Wu took us to the Chinese banquet, I wore the red dress of fine
wale corduroy plush as the belly of the spaniel you liked to say replaced you.

You took a Polaroid of Philip and me hugging, inarched. With our black shag
caps of hair we were siblings. Happy siblings.

He was your friend first. Every Thanksgiving, he came bearing pleasures:
diamond studs for small Johana, bouquets for me, Godiva for the table.

When dessert was cleared, he’d hop a chair and pour his heart into La Donna e mobile then a Chinese folksong.

He wanted to be known as an opera tenor not for his systems work at the bank.

One holiday he brought the big-haired blonde he wanted to marry and you
called her a gold-digger. The next year he brought a pretty girl from Taiwan nearer his age.
One day he disappeared. We followed every lead and got nowhere.

I lost my red dress.

I don’t remember if it got a rip or stain
or I gave it to Goodwill.
I miss its touch, the way it made me feel.

The darts in the bodice accentuated my good points
and my joyfulness. The skirt, cut on the bias, swirled.
Snaps ran from the Mandarin collar to my calves.
I wore it with snug leather boots.

You left.
You said you’d never marry again.
You did.


Written by Lesley Valdes

November 26, 2009 at 1:49 am

2 Responses

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  1. Gorgeous understated drama in this poem.


    November 27, 2009 at 3:19 am

  2. You are more than kind, Mr. Whitington.

    Lesley Valdes

    February 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm

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