Cocktail Dress

My window is blocked by
an enormous vinyl
for a red
cocktail dress.
If you’re looking up
from the street,
I am right behind
the left breast,
shameless as a blood fluke.
When the sun strikes it
at 3:00 in the afternoon,
the room fills
with evening
& I raise the window
to listen to it
crackle & hum.

Prompted by this photo, which was also the image used for Read Write Poem’s first ecard contest.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. That hawk can’t believe it’s invisible. But the truth about breasts in red dresses cannot be denied.


    1. Unfortunately, another re-write (#4) since you left that comment removed the hawk even farther from the picture. (I decided to go back to my usual pattern of leaving almost everything unsaid. Plus, human blood flukes are tragically underexposed in lyric poetry, and I’m trying to redress that balance.)


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