by Reginald Harris
Her closet is a universe
made for trying on
the brightly colored dresses,
a standing field of flowers
wider than the cramped stamp
of dirt behind the house.
Ignored every day starched white,
reached back into a past
still laced with big band music,
rationed cigarettes, Chanel No. 5,
Stepped into shoes and grew to
adolescence, the clock clock clock
of heels Time racing down the hall
to when he too would be tall, cool,
desirable—an adult—just like
How could they not love him as
he made his grand entrance, posed,
placed a trembling hand on narrow hip,
waited breathlessly, sure of their applause?
Reginald Harris, the director of library and outreach services for Poets House, won the 2012 Cave Canem / Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize for Autogeography. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a recipient of Individual Artist awards for poetry and fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council, and his debut collection 10 Tongues: Poems was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and the ForeWord Book of the Year. He is an associate editor for Lambda Literary Review and a member of the National Book Critics Circle.
From Autogeography: Poems. Copyright © 2013 by Reginald Harris. Published 2013 by Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.
Northwestern strives to be an instrument for change. Click here to visit our suggested reading list.