Birthday Dress


Running down narrow aisles of the cramped Mexican dress shop, white shoe on one foot, black shoe on the other, two green purses, one in each hand, Ultra lifts her head. It cannot be recaptured––those bellies tight as city boys watching every syllable out of her mouth in peaceful ashram polka dot tent of endless pubescent lust. She shakes the entire forest of dresses. This one she picks like plum blossoms––it glows against the crumbling plaster walls like Aretha Franklin waking on a fabulous couch. At seven, she went to Koran school. Her family was too poor to pay for public education. No patched robe, loosely draped, forgotten language––after many lifetimes, the wind will twist it into gorge flower soup. Ultra becomes dizzy. Flames surge inside her. She disappears into the straps of a dress, the never-ending universe of rags. The dressmaker sews without any needles.



[Published in The Ongoing Saga I Told My Daughter: Expanded Edition.

© 2016 by Jim Cohn.]




The Ongoing Saga I Told My Daughter: Expanded Edition
(MAP Publications, 2016)