After My Brother Kills Himself, I Try On Flowered Muumuus

My boss says, Go home.

I wait, office door closed,

think to phone friends, don’t.

My window looks on sky-

scrapers wreathed in fog.

I put on my hat, coat, and gloves,

and leave.

I roam the Loop

and wander into Marshall Fields.


This year’s

summer fashion features

Hawaiian prints,

shocking pinks and purples.

The dressing room mirror

is a parallel universe,

my reflection a stranger

in a flowered muumuu.


The smiling sales associate

asks me where I’m going,

remarks on what a relaxing trip

I’m going to have.


I buy four shopping bags

full of fuchsia frippery,

sleeveless dresses,

frou-frou swim suits,


Who cares, spend it all.

The world has come to an end.