The Business Suit

after Lynn Emanuel

Of what stripe is this habit
on a hanger, this modern mail hanging
in the tailor’s window? We wish to wear it, it wishes
to be worn, it wears like a wish—

trim with interlock, it’s a fraternity
of pinstripes, straight, homogenous, legion,
finished with topstitch—a skyscraper
on whose blueprints we’d love to smudge our fingers.

It’s an elevator enclosing the girded
portfolios of a certain body of men—
the placket overlapping is a nighthawk’s breast,
the feathers’ waxy surface, small protection—

when they’re in it, they’re camouflaged,
another nova among a sea of stars.
Right now it’s a beacon locked
behind plate glass; while we’re busy

washing off the ink, it glows there
the dim flame of itself
in a sky of dusk, a sky of dawning,
not burning up, not burning out.

:: Sheila Sinead McGuinness, in Birmingham Poetry Review (27: 2003)

1 comment:

  1. Well worth looking for, reading and rereading. The words and imagery dance well together, both in my mind's eye and on my tongue.