Funeral Shirt

Because writing poetry doesn’t pay the bills,
I only have one nice shirt, or one that fits.
There’s no room for shirt shopping, except
I did buy a shirt that said “DILF” the other day.
But I only have one nice shirt. I wore it
the first time to bury my grandfather,
and then to a job interview and wedding.
I know this could be a metaphor, something
about death and beginnings and the circle of things,
but duality doesn’t always have to mean something.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar
and a shirt is just a shirt.

A couple of years ago, I read an article,
it was about that girl with the eyes, refugee girl,
that was on the cover of Nat Geo.
They found her, weather-beaten and older,
with the same poverty written in her forehead lines.
Her eyes were still stunning, lustful almost,
but it begged the question how could they
be attached to such a different frame. I imagine
that woman would roll up her sleeves
and tell you not to overthink it.

Some people live lives over the skyline
and between closed fists at the same time.
It’s strange that Tetris never killed anyone
and that a perfect fit is only recommended.

Gardner Dorton lives in Charleston, SC, where he studies poetry in an MFA program at the College of Charleston. His writing can be found in Black Heart Magazine, After the Pause and The Cicada. You can email him at gardnerdorton@gmail.com, but he might take a while to respond because he is telling his dog to calm down.

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