etymology of a blouse

etymology of a blouse | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Nude Studies by Solon H. Borglum, 1895. Courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. A. Mervyn Davies.

to wear a man out
a floral top pressed to his skin
by a silken breeze

weather brings them closer:
bees emerge
from the soft petals of his chest

to thread each button
through its budding slit—fingers
pollinate in this fashion

the birds, too, how they nest in his
loose drapery, ruffle
their feathers in a sinuous dance

like a man, lithe

& bare-chested in a cage at the club—
arms flimsy, unfurling

there is an attraction to a delicacy
that enters:
to the smack of petal & stem

on bare skin,
to a man’s campy plumage
piercing night

& strobe light—somewhere in his
history, a smock,
a woman’s garment—somewhere

in this empty
dark, he spreads you wide, wears
you like fine linen