Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Street Party Suit

by Jean-Mark Sens


Limp, it hangs in the closet
leg cuffs bend over to the waist
empty arms, flimsy shoulders shrugging up with padding—
siblings—jacket and trousers
matching patched colors—pinched at the hips and waist
button eyes on the chest, chiffon carnation on the lapel
stamped gold, amber, silver and copper squares all over.
The cold lining you enter through
giving folds and gloss to the iridescent fabric
filling life to its volume a tailor surmised
in rhythms of a sewing machine–
a cubist zoot suit of Mardi-Gras parade
sparkled, glittered, spangled, glibbish
Bongos to street tangos, hashish and guitar riffs
frumpy it founds a second life—a boogie-woogie hipster
top of the street as new as when it came out of Weisman Fashion
vintage at the height of its age now refurbished
donning the skeleton chest and framing up the skull of a memento mori
tapping to a second line band the clangs of his bones and phalanges.
Light flash of a camera and once again the moon tumbled over into Lent.
It divested itself to the cold wire of a coat hanger
between a bustier and the sheer skin dress of a Marie-Antoinette
among the solace of mute costumes under the moon beam of a skylight,
moth dust of ethereal confetti in the purgatory of a garret
till undone and redone by their makers who will renew them with bodies and souls
and “let them sing aloud upon their beds.”