The racks at Goodwill, they're packed with wedding dresses.
Salvation Army, stacked with those sad white dresses.
Old dreams dropped at the curb. Post-breakup messes.
Those beads on skinny threads, just watch how they fall.
Those skirts like limp balloons. That skimpy tulle-
It's called illusion, baby. Time to get real.
Sheen of that satin, slinky slide of those trains?
They crumple and wrinkle, honey. Those strapless gowns
look hot, hot, hot, but you wear them and feel the bones.
No call for eveningwear now. No night-life scene.
It's dead polyester and blue-suit gabardine.
The season's gone cold and sober. It's Halloween
and getting dark now, ladies, so make your minds
bloodier. Come get your costumes. Work on your lines.
Be the zombies, the corpse brides, the brides-of-Frankensteins.
Maryann Corbett lives in St. Paul and works for the Minnesota Legislature. Her poems, essays, and translations have appeared widely online and in print in many journals and assorted anthologies and have won the Lyric Memorial Award, the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize, and the Richard Wilbur Award. New work appears inBarrow StreetandSouthwest Reviewand is forthcoming inThe Raintown Review, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, andAngle. Her books areBreath Control(David Robert Books),Credo for the Checkout Line in Winter(Able Muse), andMid Evil, forthcoming from The Evansville Press.