There is no satrap with a decree that says nudity is preferred.
There is a river that dictates this to me.
Strapless, thin, short, implying bodies
for warmth, a fireplace, luxury of heat.
I have worn rhinestones.
I have worn Ptolemaic jewelry.
The New Year’s Eve dress makes its wearer
the something to come, the edge of what we know.
It is winter. I could be in two pairs of socks
or jeweled, tinseled, sequined in pailettes, lights in darkness.
The future is the 1920s idea of the future.
Tungsten lit, Fritz Lang. Metropolis.
So that I could be metallic, sort of tin, the dress I sought
would act as instrument, as fanfare. If I did it right,
I would be the tool you twirl in your hand as it hammers away.
Lauren Hilger is the author of Lady Be Good (CCM, 2016) and Morality Play (Poetry NW Editions, Spring 2022). Named a Nadya Aisenberg Fellow in poetry from MacDowell, she has also received fellowships from the Hambidge Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in BOMB, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Pleiades, The Threepenny Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. She serves as a poetry editor for No Tokens.
“New Year’s Eve Dress” appeared in TLR Chemistry (Spring 2018).