Lantern Review

Rachel Ronquillo Gray

Half Face Song

—after Alex Katz’s The Black Dress

All my pretty black dresses and my serious
hairstyles. They mean business. They mean
quiet undertows. Men with half-faces have no idea
I have so many possibilities. My legs blue.

My legs yellow-nyloned. My hair in blue-black
shine. My hair flipped one way. My hair Niagara-
falling down the back of a chair. My hair smeared
into a doorway. I can have half a face too.

Dear men, you cannot dream of all my paintings.
You cannot dream of all my black dressed looks.
How I can wear my black dress one day and say,
Look at all my flashy pearls, this collarbone of mine.

I can wear my black dress the next day and say, No-
thing sparkles on me. I am boring. I am bored. My
half-faced woman can wear a black dress. Watch you
from the corner of her one eye. I give her a basket

to keep a mirror in. I want her to always dream
her face’s other half.