From Jacket to Girl

February 23, 2011
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She’s just beautiful.
In the mornings as I accompany her on her drive to school, her cheeks flame with cold a color I wish I could make a crayon out of. She blows out sweet, thick steam and I long to capture it in a bottle. I’m always with her when she goes out, loyal to her until my threads give. And sometimes we’re together even when she’s inside. When she feels cold and a blanket is just not enough.

If only she knew.

Whenever she opens the closet door, brusquely, distracted, always late, my heart surges as I breathe in air – not closet, stuffy air, real air. Air scented by her jasmine perfume and lemon soap and as her soft fingers pinch my lapel my fibers tingle.

If only she knew.

She drapes me on her arm carefully, always taking care never to drop me. I wonder if she appreciates my efforts to ward off the wind from mussing her hair or the sniffles from relegating her to cough syrup and bed rest.

My arms go around her and she ties me snug. I never want to let go. The curvature of her body and soul fit perfectly in the wool of mine. And I hope, desperately it will be a bit before she takes me off again. Deviously I wish for our outing to be a shivering one so I can smooth away her freezing tremors, so she can pull me closer to her and I can feel her pulse.

If only she knew.

She looks into the mirror, certifying my presence, acknowledging my aesthetic harmony with her shoes and her scarf. She tugs at my sleeves teasingly, pats the pleats, polishes the buttons. Completely unaware I’m ticklish at my third button, her finger lingers, I hold it in, every part of me squinting and unable to breathe. She smiles, satisfied and then it’s gone and I wish for an elephant’s memory to commit that face forever.

If only she knew.

I yearn for winter and rainy days. I curse at the sun; he taunts me, bringing with him the forces responsible for shutting me away in the corner closet for innumerably long excruciating months. If I am Romeo and she is Juliet, then summer is all the evils of Montague and Capulet rolled into one awful season. My only solace is the continuous ticking of time, as it slowly chips away at the heat until the spell of hats and gloves and coats is upon us again.

If only she knew.

If only she knew just how beautiful she is. If only she knew the sound of her voice reverberates in my woven yarns hours after she speaks. If only she knew the reprieve I feel when the closet door creaks open. If only she knew how much I dread the day she grows out of charcoal gray and wool-angora blend and double-breasted pea coats.

If only she knew how much I love her.

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