Last night, I dreamed I was taking off my clothes. But as soon as I took them off, I was wearing another set. Consequently, I had to take those off. This happened over and over again.

It was like I couldn’t stop revealing myself. Or that I couldn’t start doing it. The clothes were in the way of my wanting to reveal. I couldn’t get to nakedness. Truth eluded me.

I woke up relieved that it was just a dream.

Today I want more than I wanted yesterday. Today I want to uncover my life, my self.

My husband said that it has to do with desire, the hunger for change and love. Or love and change.

Somewhere where places change without really changing. Like love and hate, and hate and love. My clothes substituting for desire, for nakedness. For honesty.

Was I, in a sense, encouraging honesty? For myself?

Was I too intimate and wanted to detach from that closeness?

It could be that or its opposite.

Uncertainty and love, perhaps. Both at once.

I woke up this morning and found myself closed to everyone else but me.

I wanted to change myself but couldn’t.

I want to.

Jill Chan is the author of Phone Call and Other Prose Writings (2017), The Art of It: Three Novellas (2011), and six books of poetry: What to Believe (2017); On Love: a poem sequence (2011); Early Work: Poems 2000-2007 (2011); These Hands Are Not Ours (ESAW, 2009), winner of the Earl of Seacliff Poetry Prize; Becoming Someone Who Isn’t (ESAW, 2007); and The Smell of Oranges (ESAW, 2003). She is one of the poets featured in the New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive. Her work has been published in Eunoia Review, Poetry New Zealand, takahē, JAAM, Brief Magazine, Deep South Magazine, Trout and many other magazines in New Zealand and abroad.

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1 Response to Clothes

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