the dress passed             from sister                     to sister
only fit                                 the first girl                   in all of the right places
even here                           there is too much        history

no man can resist                            the shine of pomade
or the smell                                       of stiff-pressed hair
even the burnt cinders                 of tendrils that gather
                                around a soft & sweet face

                               his words
                               it can never be hard                       to love you
                               were borrowed              from love songs
                                & a dream of turning girl           into woman
                               making love to their parents' music
                                              that real music
                                              is a kind                              of creation

she knows that
 every child is born
out of some                       heartache

so that when                    she comes in that night             with her
musky dress                                    & unkempt curls
               her sisters will never                 utter the words
                                                                                                          i told you so

About the Poet

Raina Lauren Fields currently attends the Master of Fine Arts program in poetry at Virginia Tech. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Breadcrumb Scabs, PANK, and Gargoyle.