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Sport 42: 2014

A gift of spotted tights

A gift of spotted tights

Three times I circle the block thinking
What to buy, what to buy? and the moment

a space becomes available I know:
an extravagant pair of tights you’d never buy

for yourself, even if you were a Medici
and an armful of new dresses had just been delivered

and swooned over the arm of a maid. You’d think
how the maid’s fingers would have to ease

the pink blisters raised on the black nylon
over your ankles and calves—Take them away

you’d scream as she tugged—they look like plague
and the maid would scuttle from the chamber

but you, who have no one to dress you, will sit
demurely on the side of your bed and point

your big toe first, then your heel, calf, knee
and thigh (standing upright now) until

you’re clad in these remarkable tights. Pink
raised lumps on black-as-deepest-hell

you’ll wear them somewhere and disdain the
comments that follow. Fetch a doctor, call the ambulance.

page 221

Her legs have broken out. The bobbles warm
your upper thighs, you touch them through your skirt

and underneath the tablecloth your putrescent instep
innocently brushes against a trouser leg.