Courtney Lee

My education expands me
until I am fitting.

See how I dress myself,
display a modesty not so common at my age,*

Clothing altered along past guides
ushering me into the seams,

Heavy thoughts pushed into pencil skirts.
But how my weight depresses the page!

Density, stubborn thing, disregards the shape
it takes, and voice, the painted lips that speak.

For the better, I say, the trimmings
should leave something distasteful under the fold,

Beneath all the crinoline, a dagger.

*See W. H. Auden’s foreword to Adrienne Rich’s A Change of World, 1951.