Paulette Beete

The Woman’s Wardrobe

Consider a self in exile.
Consider another self constructed
in the shadow of the first.
Consider the required tools

for an unspiraling
(apple peel, orange rind)
to find what’s hidden what’s soft.

Am I an intersection of skin & voice
the shadow of that intersection
a manipulation of skin & memory

a blank wall? In the beginning
there was a thin braid of darkness
& light (this is where I stumble)
tracing distance (choose the correct
strand of the original braid)…this is what inspires retreat.

This is what inspires retreat.

(Remember skin the consequence of skin
the weight of memory…)

Consider a woman hiding
in a turtle’s shell.
Consider the effort of a woman
fitting this shell to herself.
Consider the woman dismantled
fitting herself to it.

Paulette Beete's poems, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in journals including Rhino, Crab Orchard Review, Escape into Life, and Provincetown Arts. Beete has published two chapbook collections: Voice Lessons (Plan B Press, 2011), and Blues for a Pretty Girl (Finishing Line Press, 2005). She lives in Silver Spring, MD and blogs at The Home Beete. She also watches a lot of British cop shows. Read more by this author: Paulette Beete: Fall 2011