Women Skirts

Women spin and dance in skirts, sleep and wake in them sometimes, ascend and descend stairs. Some have walked into the sea in skirts, which is like tossing a skirt over a man's head, or pressing his face against the tent of one. Some woman, maybe wearing a velvet skirt, embraces another woman — so one skirt brushes against another. Women wash and wring and hang skirts up to dry, spray them, iron them, hem them, slip them over slips, over tights. Once, I confess, I owned six black ones: rayon, wool, gabardine, linen, cotton, silk. The wind can blow the bulk of a skirt between a woman's legs, or wrap her in a twist, billow underneath so skirls of wind touch faintly, delightfully. Some women hear skirts murmuring or sighing, conversing with the flesh they cover. But most skirts drape in silence, the silence of slow snow falling, or the hushed liquid glide of a woman's body through a sunlit pool, the sweet descent to sleep, or passion, or passion's nemesis, ennui. A woman's spirit lengthens or widens in a skirt, magnified by cloth and cut and her stride through the quickened space. If instead a woman wears a tight skirt, she feels containment and its amplification — reduction's power to suggest. Right now my favorite is a crimpy cinnabar silk I twist into wrinkles to dry. I wear it walking in the evenings. I vanish as its folds enfold the sky.