Carey Salerno


It isn't the way she pulls her hair
out of the tie, or back, weaving fingers,
twisting a braid, but that she stands
before the conifer dale, contemplating her white
shirt, whether its removal is really what
she wants, counts sweat beads as they roll
to the small of her back. Below, her brother,
another white Hanes shirt, tightly wound
along his hairline, faint yellow
pissing an edge. And it isn't the way he
looks at her as she does it, lifting the shirt,
using her elbows to stretch fabric above the crown,
but the way he runs to their parents
scaling the valley, playing grand evergreen
cellos with slick, mirrored bows.        And the air
tepid. And time is tepid. And
the sister feeling some rush of field
breeze, some flood of satisfaction,
some aftertaste, a wrong‐doing.



"Dressing" first appeared in Natural Bridge, Issue 18, Fall 2007.