is an online magazine of the literary arts.

30 July 2010 | Vol. 10, No. 2



Bottom hemmed. Sleeves shortened.

Before leaving the shop,

                        my mother waves

the tailor back, asks

for the remaining fabric

after the alterations.

I never bought a dress

this expensive.

I want to keep it all.


Turquoise with decorative pearls,

                        picture tropical

                        oceans & mussels

infected, the dress my mother wore

to my wedding, later

                                    to her funeral.


I danced with my mother's head


            near my chest.

My father drifts,         buoyant

with champagne, me his youngest

dancing in a white tuxedo—foam

overwhelmed by the water

of its creation.

About the author:

Michael Schmeltzer earned an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. He helps manage A River & Sound Review and is a two-time nominee of the Pushcart Prize. His work appears or is forthcoming in New York Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, Water~Stone Review, Main Street Rag, Crab Creek Review, and Fourteen Hills, among others. He lives in Seattle with his family.



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