The Clothes We Wear


The Clothes We Wear



Fall down and recognize

the river and its reaching sway.

Solitarily suited between what you gave

and what was refused reception.


Born on a balcony, hung over the rails –

so much work, so much love needed to

make it work. And then you grew up

and needed only a dark room to hide in,

the reproach of some sages and

the occasional charity.


Then your fire-ball bouquet of demands,

squealing and giggles drew blood and the rain

got stuck in the sky as the angels misplaced

your destiny. They cannot get it back –

some have tried, most have not even bothered

as it was fed into the ocean, swallowed up

by primordial beings, ancient, not used

to sunlight and heaven.


They swim through pressurized underwater caverns,

carry it stuck in their gullets, only to be released

when their centuries-old bodies give way to compost. Then

maybe a holy voice will hear it cry out, bubble to the surface

and claim its place back inside of you. Maybe, in that time

you will give value to the hallelujah

that fireworked through you when you first came here –

from another place, high up, but strange and dark too

as the ocean’s floor.



Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst

First published in “Setu, Fifth Issue” October 2016
setu-1 setu-2 setu-3 setu-the-clothes-we-wear setu-4
You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



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