Black Lace

Black Lace

A Poem by Marie Anzalone

After I left him, I waited many weeks;
after I left him, I lost 300 pounds (him)
and then 80 more, me, my waist
reappearing, my legs, becoming toned
again, my will lifting lies and hurling
them like javelins until
I was stronger than him. In every way.
After I left him, I bought myself so many things
with black lace, form fitting, lifting
what should be lifted; I uplifted my parts
until I no longer heard that I love too
much or that I love wrongly or in too
many ways; I learned to love my hands
on my own breasts, I learned to walk
down city streets alone; I learned to flirt
in public spaces and eat good pasta
by myself. I learned that silk feels
as good against my own hot skin
as it does to a lover’s cheek.
After I left him, I invited a few to my
mattress, maybe more than necessary,
but it was survival; I heard over and over,
you are dirty, you are a w***e, you are
too much, you can only be wanted but
never loved. After I left him, I found
a good person who loved me safely,
from across every room
my soul doing something like drowning
in his warm brown eyes; then a woman
who wanted to hold me, but was afraid.

The black silk and lace stayed on me,
under my work clothes, my hands found
me again, on work breaks, under coats
on public transportation. My heels
became higher and my neckline, lower,
and I found a place where women
did not watch me day and night,
where gossip forgot my name; and where
you were standing in some corner,
wondering about black silk under the
clothes of a woman coming back to life.
After I left him, I waited so many weeks
with my clothes occasionally coming off
but my soul staying on; until I let you
strip me bare, one black lace layer
at a time, one validation at a time,
one acceptance at a time, one panted word
at time; one man who weighed neither my body
nor my intentions like a judge waiting
to condemn my thighs for wanting someone
between them, someone as hungry
as I am, for the things,
my father told me were too dirty
for a good girl like me; for the things
my mother told me,
I was too young to comprehend.

After I left him, maybe I devoured you
because I needed to feel atomic energy
burning my past to ashes and dust;
after I left him, I wore lace shamefully
until I learned how to wear my skin
and its desires, for you, like a badge
of honor for winning a contest, I did not
even realize, I had entered, until
you told me I had won.

© 2023 Marie Anzalone

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Congratulations. Good writing. Enjoyed reading 🙂

Posted 7 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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2 Reviews
Added on August 8, 2023
Last Updated on August 8, 2023


Marie Anzalone
Marie Anzalone

Xecaracoj, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Bilingual (English and Spanish) poet, essayist, novelist, grant writer, editor, and technical writer working in Central America. "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to ta.. more..