by Julie R. Enszer


It is not the dress we want, but the life we will live in that dress

—Diana Vreeland



I confess, I am buying

Eileen Fisher dresses

on eBay without abandon.

Black. Blue. Brown. Charcoal grey.

I wear them with brightly-colored

tights. They are long, drape

below my knees, one nearly

to my ankles. I wear them

with scarves and boots,

brown leather boots and

bulky wool sweaters, my hair

tied back in a bun, a few

wisps around my neck.


It is not the dresses I want,

though I need them to teach;

I want the life I imagine

living in these dresses.

A life I imagined when

I began college, when we walked

at dusk the tree-lined streets

of Ann Arbor after milkshakes,

looking at the large houses

of professors, when we read

poems aloud late into the night,

when I saw in your eyes

for the first time what it was

to be loved. I need these dresses;

I want that life.

Julie R. Enszer, PhD, is a scholar and a poet. She is the author of Sisterhood (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2013) and Handmade Love (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2010). She is editor of Milk & Honey: A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2011). Milk & Honey was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry. She has her MFA and PhD from the University of Maryland. She is the editor of Sinister Wisdom, a multicultural lesbian literary and art journal, and a regular book reviewer for the Lambda Book Report and Calyx. You can read more of her work at www.JulieREnszer.com.