To Buy a Coat
by Nicole LeDonna
A revolving door, Macy’s Herald Square.
Nothing fits. My clothes don’t fit.
I have gas.
I mantra– I am so fat. So alone.
It’s cold and the icy air bites my ankles.
I try to wear nice shoes
They are too thin, too narrow.
I can only wear nylons with them.
Weird, scratchy things.
The day darkens.
I need a coat.
A $130.00 wool striped coat
With detachable cape.
I want to look like the kind of girl
Who can wear it.
Not like the horse in a blanket
I am when I wore the plaid
Wool coat in high school.
The door revolves- I wait for someone.
I pretend to be.
I want. I want.
Beneath this, the rumbling, the river of words.
Does every little girl’s father rape her?
Don’t all little girls walk with
Crippling cramps in the abdomen,
Shooting star pain in the anus.
Tight inner thighs, chronic now,
Squeeze him out, keep him away.
Don’t they? Don’t they?
Swallowed sounds, syllables, words.
So much easier to swallow
Inhibit the urge, propulsion to expel
Sound, syllable, word.
Much easier to swallow
Handfuls, gobfuls, garbagecansful.
Nothing gets out.
The door revolves.
I go into the store.
I am out of the store.
My mother will pay some.
But why a hood? A shawl?
Why not something more youthful?
And, when I needed more, something else,
“I gave you money for a coat.”
Because it was cold, the winter set in,
I needed a coat or so I told myself.
I earned $120.00 a week before tax.
I paid a therapist $75.00 a week.
I paid rent, $250.00 a month. $350.00?
Into the store.
The coat is out of season.
The coat is on sale.
I save $50.00.
It will last longer since
I froze my ass off for most of the winter.
I have no needs.
I have no wants.
I am nothing.
I need nothing.