what i was wearing

kara lewis

I slept in sequined underwear, shimmery and lovely in my sharpness. 

I slept like an ornamented corpse, false lashes secured, because Mom said,

Baby, you never know who you’ll see in your dreams.

The day’s headlines cinched me, commas dangling

like earrings. Woman dies while fleeing

rape, police say, prosecutors still

reviewing case. When I woke, I sewed

a dress to dye, intertwined

torn newspaper,

Polaroid mugshots,

a corset of catcalls.

I painted my lips

in blood. I buried

my muddied


I needed

to run.



Kara Lewis (she/her/hers) is a poet, writer, and editor who lives in Kansas City, Missouri. Her poems have appeared in Kissing Dynamite Poetry, Sprung Formal, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Plainsongs Poetry Journal, and Number One Magazine. She is a regular contributor to the Read Poetry blog and a recipient of the John Mark Eberhart Memorial Award for a collection of poetry. She has also widely published her journalism, feminist criticism, and personal essays. You can follow her on Twitter @kararaywrites for poetry, politics, and Gilmore Girls gifs.