THE PINK CHANEL SUIT
By Amanda Auchter
don’t wash it, when asked
if she wanted to change, to take off
the wool skirt, the blue
lined jacket. I want them to see,
she said. Kid gloves, a blood bloom
on her wrist,
stockings. Swipe of hair
across her mouth.
In the car, she remembers
a scatter of yellow
roses, black birds rising
from the Live Oak. How the children
ran alongside as they drove past, waving.
The open windows. A man with a camera,
that opened. A raincoat. In the car,
her body covered with bone,
hair. The bright pink suit against the gray
November. And all that red inside her hands.
(Today’s poem originally appeared in Rattle , and appears here today with permission from the poet.)
Amanda Auchter is the founding editor of Pebble Lake Review and the author of The Wishing Tomb, winner of the 2012 Perugia Press Award, and of The Glass Crib, winner of the 2010 Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry. She holds an MFA from Bennington College and teaches creative writing and literature at Lone Star College. She is currently at work on a memoir about adoption and the foster care system, What Took You So Long.
Editor’s Note: There is a certain ease in the presentation of today’s subject matter that makes the devastation somehow more powerful. A softness in the notion of “The bright pink suit against the gray / November” that at once heightens and dulls the impact of the poem’s final blow. It is as if the poem is a grenade exploding flowers.