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December 01st 2007 print

Carol Jenkins

The Blessings of Saint Vincent

The Blessings of Saint Vincent

Saint Vincent, patron saint of student
clothing, bequeathed to me from the depths

and twists of his sorting tables, a perfect
Victorian camisole, every stitch scaled

in sixteenths of an inch, pin-tucked
lawn and pale silk ribbon that threaded

the three deep inches of lace to play,
across the breasts and shoulder,

a game of hanging on and falling
off and in this antique practice

he gave to me, as skirt and shirt
fell upon floor, something of the feeling

of being both myself and the involuntary
groan of the young man, watching,

waist naked, standing by the bed.

Carol Jenkins