The Man Remembers the Only Cummerbund He Has Ever Worn

2

September 14, 2012 by The Citron Review

by Charles Rafferty

 

My date had a wrist corsage —
another first and last time confused
with brandy. Her dress belled around her
as if she’d stepped into an overturned
tulip, and my tuxedo was tight
in the shoulders, despite my having
been fitted. It is easy now to see her
innocence, the crassness of my own
desire. I cannot explain
how nudity is deepened
by the presence of a wrist corsage,
but she was careful not to crush it
as I peeled the stockings from her legs.
The cummerbund never made it back
to the rental shop. I left it
on the dock of a moonlit lake
as if the country I had conquered were
waiting for a flag. It stayed there
with her silence, which even now
I cannot hear. The clamor of it
terrifies on nights my daughter
is even just a little bit late.

 

Charles Rafferty’s most recent collections of poems are The Smoke of Horses (BOA Editions, 2017) and Something an Atheist Might Bring Up at a Cocktail Party (Mayapple Press, 2018). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, O: Oprah Magazine, Gettysburg Review, Cincinnati Review, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, and Ploughshares. Currently, he directs the MFA program at Albertus Magnus College and teaches at the Westport Writers’ Workshop.
 

2 thoughts on “The Man Remembers the Only Cummerbund He Has Ever Worn

  1. Terry Lucas says:

    Excellent feel for the line, enjambments and diction.

  2. Allie Marini Batts says:

    Wow. “I cannot explain
    how nudity is deepened
    by the presence of a wrist corsage”. It’s like a fist in a velvet glove.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Snow on brush in desert

IMAGE CREDIT: Jill Katherine Chmelko. Protest Road, Winter. 2019.

🍋Our Tenth Anniversary

 

    Cheers to ten years of celebrating the short form.

 

🍋 Instagram

DS Levy's Micro Fiction takes us to "Babyland" where nothing is as you might expect it. The Citron Review Winter Issue overflows with surprises! https://citronreview.com/2019/12/21/babyland/ DS Levy's chapbook of flash fiction, @a_binary_heart, was published by @flpbooks.
Congratulations to Citron's Online/Fiction Editor Jr Walsh for his recent publication in Nunum's Winter 2019 Volume 2, Issue 4! #flashfiction #fiction #briefliterature #amreading #SundayRead #jrwalsh #yourfavoriteactor
Can you talk with animals? "The Soldier on the Mountain" just might have to. Come hike this #flashfiction odyssey from @BlerianaMyftiu with us. https://citronreview.com/2019/12/21/the-soldier-on-the-mountain/ Bleriana Myftiu is from Tirana, Albania. She holds an MFA in Fiction from San Francisco State University and is a Fiction Reader for @atticusreview. Visit blerianamyftiu.com
Our first poem of 2020 comes from Richard Foerster in our New Winter Issue. https://citronreview.com/2019/12/21/first-poem/ #amreading #poetry Foerster’s eighth collection is Boy on a Doorstep: New and Selected Poems (Tiger Bark Press, 2019)
Pacific Northwest writer @savannahslonewriter reminds us of our new year's resolutions in "i want to start a podcast but." https://citronreview.com/2019/12/21/i-want-to-start-a-podcast-but/ Slone is the author of several books including the forthcoming An Exhalation of Dead Things (@clashbooks, 2021), Hearing the Underwater (@flpbooks, 2019) and This Body is My Own (@ghostcitypress, 2019)
Happy New Year to readers and contributors from @citronreview! Here's to 2020! Our Winter Issue is up at citronreview.com.

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: