Charcoal-blue workpants, black shirt,
close enough to a catwalk-
self-important feeling;
oh, to evoke the self-important feeling!

True, these charcoal blues
are reserved for grease and factory men,
but these ones are made for the shape of women.
These unsung chic heroes, tomboys,
if I dress like them
then this zero becomes a ten.

The closest thing to slipping inside their worn skin
is the feel of charcoal linen.
Against these pant legs, the pale flakes
of the Parmesan on a cheese grate.

It is a small pain to do it in their name.
I saw the girls those misfits craved;
they looked so gaunt, so sallow,
so spent, one foot in the grave.

They’ll still outlast this imitator just the same.
I cannot give it a name, this longing, this clothed lust,
this moment in the eighth decade,
I just wanted to touch.


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