It was hanging on display
in the open closet near a tarnished chain
connected to a frosted light bulb,
the jaundiced dress,
folds and pleats in need of ironing.
The skirt was as thin and transparent
as the spider webs dangling from the ceiling.
A silky sheen of ribbon
reflecting the golden sunlight
served as a belt draping from the waist,
as if fit for a faerie nymph.
Yellows and oranges assaulted the bodice, where
molted flower petals caressed the bosom,
melting into the stitching
at the pearly opal buttons.
Ancient sleeves frayed short at the edges.
The empty arms could not reach,
but only slumped in despair.
And on the collar were tiny pinpricks:
fresh, bright red crimson drops
expanding in lines
as they dripped to the floor.
The stains, layered with berry seeds,
were like sweet, sticky blood.