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 to Terry Lucas Cancel 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

Our own Managing Editor @ericsteineger has published a poem with the journal from @bmcmuseum Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. It's an #ekphrastic poem based on an exhibition by Josh Copus and Jenn Grossman. http://www.blackmountainstudiesjournal.org/audible-shapes/ #ampublishing
Winter will soon come to a close and everyone's crying! We trust Paul Beckman to reveal a trail through it all. https://citronreview.com/2019/12/15/crumbs/ Paul Beckman’s fourth short story collection is Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press), was a finalist for the 2019 Short Story Indie Book Awards. He was one of the winners of @bestsmallfictions 2016. He won the Editor’s Choice Award in 2016 from Fiction Southeast, and was in the #WigleafTop50. His stories have appeared in @jellyfishreviewig, @spelkfiction, @litromedia, @pankmagazine, Lost Balloon and many others. Paul curates the FBomb NY flash fiction reading series monthly at KGB Bar & @kgblitjournal. #amreading #flashfiction
Don't cry...or maybe do. A deeper look at our saltiest moments with Denton Loving's "The Topography of Tears." https://citronreview.com/2019/12/21/the-topography-of-tears/ Denton Loving is the author of the poetry collection Crimes Against Birds and editor of Seeking Its Own Level, an Anthology of Writings about Water. His writing has recently appeared in @lunchwithironhorse, @kenyonreview, #ChattahoocheeReview and #TheThreepennyReview. #amreading #creativenonfiction
US President George Washington rode a horse, of course. So we are recognizing this President's birthday with our Winter Issue story, "The Farrier, by Lisa Tuininga. https://citronreview.com/2019/12/21/the-farrier/ Lisa Tuininga writes fiction and creative nonfiction. She holds a BA in English Literature from DePaul University and has studied at Seattle’s literary center, @hugohouse. Her work has appeared in @belletristmagazine , Adanna Literary Journal, @sharkreeflit, and others (under pen name Lisa Regen) and she is working on her first novel. #amreading #amsubmitting
Whether you celebrate V-Day or you're anti-V-Day, we all have laundry to do. https://citronreview.com/2019/12/15/hanging-out-the-laundry/ Kris Willcox's work is in publications including The Cimarron Review​, @beloitfictionjournal , and @PDXReview. #amreading #flashfiction #litmag
Dive deep into some #flashfiction with @elpattee. https://citronreview.com/2019/12/21/men-learn-to-swim-in-the-deep-end/ Emma Pattee’s writing has been published in @nytimes and @carvecommunity and is forthcoming in @marieclairemag. She was a 2019 AWP Writer-to-Writer mentee and leads the Portland chapter of Women Who Submit. She is currently working on a novel.

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

%d bloggers like this: