O.P.P. #3 — William’s clothes…

Day 3 of National Poetry Month.

And we’re trying things on….


by W. S. Merwin

Believing comes after
there were coverings
who can believe 
that we were born without them
he she or it wailing
back the first breath
from a stark reflection
raw and upside-down
early but already
not original

into the last days
and then some way past them
the body that we
are assured is more
than what covers it 
is kept covered 
out of habit which
is a word for dress
out of custom
which is an alteration
of the older word costume
out of decency
which is handed down 
from a word for what
is fitting

apparently we believe
in the words
and through them
but we long beyond them

for what is unseen
what remains out of reach
what is kept covered
with colors and sized
we hunger
for what is undoubted yet dubious
known to be different
and our fabrics tell
of difference 
we dress in difference
calling it ours

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