Dawn McGuire

Making Up

for Dr. Nancy Mckenzie

My best friend in high school
could not stand anything touching
in her closet. If a sleeve of her favorite
turtleneck touched the cuff of her tuxedo
shirt, both went to the Catholic thrift shop.
She couldn’t even take them, so I did.

Some things are unbearable, who knows why.
After my Freud class, I asked, trying to sound
casual, if maybe the clothes touching thing
had to do with masturbation? It didn’t
sound casual. She didn’t take it well.
We ended up in different colleges.

I sent her a St. Jude medal for graduation
but didn’t hear back. That was a long time ago.
Last April I ran into her at a L.A. gallery
in front of a yellow splotch. She looked
fantastic and her smile bit into my
heart just like before.

She invited me to her apartment.
When I hung up my jacket, her closet
was jammed, acrylic even doing it with silk.
It was really a good day. After lunch,
she took out a flexible tape and
measured her ankles six times
but we didn’t talk about it.