Written by: Gracie Bawden

This dress was ripe with stains
On the verge of being lost to last year
And its ambiguous grey-green shading

Last year's heart took my eyes and
The life out of them
Until they bled right over the sick-skin skirt

I released it from the shadows today
Took it firmly in my palms
Twisted handfuls into pink baby fingers

Wrapped them

So tight the string sliced my skin
I pulled it with my teeth
Wrapped it around my knuckles
A knot
In my soul as I held it close to me one last time

A drop
In a bucket outside the back door
No more rue or rose or dandelion
My dress is gladioli
Swimming in it
Absorbing it
Living it

Nothing but these dull peach rings
To remind me of last year
And her victim
And of why I wear my dress like this
Like a smile
And the proudest scar I ever saw.