Borrowed Dress

He left the room, assured of his immortality-- 
or was it just his cologne?
I once wanted his money--not really his money, 
but the freshly minted coins of reason.
His hands smelling like prime numbers. 
I once wanted his swagger, his fame 
but without the dental work. 
I'm reminded that my destiny was 
to stand reflected in the infinity-inducing

mirrors with other women in restaurant 
bathrooms who pat their hair, make that little 
moue with their lips;
who return to the tables of men, 
their hands wet, body hairs galvanized 
like filaments of iron. Strange how 
everything is orderly even in dissipation 
when leaves blizzard the pavement. 
I don't see them land but their fall,
the event of it, is still present, almost invisible.

Winner of the 2001 Felix Pollack Prize in Poetry. Copyright © 2001 by Cathy Colman. Reprinted by permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. All rights reserved.