Fur Coats

Her gesture happened as

three fur coats for daughters

of law

each one more extinct than the other

her gestures started there.

 

Ten years into the marriage

All three daughters sold their coats

to someone of safe distance

and proclaimed to never have liked the

material in the first place

 

 

This is where they belong now—their belonging:

 

 

Coat Number 1:

 

 

Was sold to an acquaintance that was becoming wealthy due to an unexpectedly talented marriage. The daughter by law wanted a new coat because she wanted to show her own in laws that no one would should expect the burden of opulence (the mannerless son, they sighed) with the exception of her.

 

So when it was bought and cleaned, renewed in her name she understood that she did not need it and purchased another cleaner newer fur extension.

 

It was delivered in their kind of a lunch bag, made of printed cloth to the original seller.  Left on the front steps with a kind note, about souvenirs and good times.

 

Unfortunately, the new owner and the husband had already financially collapsed and moved to a smaller house with smaller means.

 

The coat sat tested, weathered.  The skin taken, seconded and dramatically abandoned.

 

The mailman decided, without opening the wrapped cloth, to move it to the public trash bin where it was taken to the local waste and accidentally dropped into the ocean by a young, good-hearted boy in training.

 

It now sits at the bottom of somewhere warm, under a pile of heavy and broken things.  The hairs have mostly come undone and are desiring to float above.  This skin remembers no one, honest, still.

 

 

 

Coat Number 2:

 

 

The second daughter dined with celebrity friends.  Middle mannered, middle success.  They borrowed objects to keep, traded object stories, bartered with experience.

 

Her coat was bartered for invaluable estate jewelry, she told her coworkers.  I’m a vegan anyhow, she said, politically inclined towards rocks and recycling.  This was not her joke inside.

 

Once acquired her friend took the coat to a tailor to create and update its look—shed the weight, the length, the boxy manner of its guide.  The ends scorned, falling, scrap material of no use.

 

Stretched beneath it now clings to her waist as clever as thinned velvet.  She walks in slowly, stalling and patiently requires the assistance of removal before sitting.

 

 

 

 

Coat Number 3:

 

 

 

Coat number 3 explored fantasies, decadence and revenge.  Too bad, she thought, as she watched her still friend, holding flowers, eyes solid, pressed thin.  Too bad I agreed.

 

When they closed the casket she wondered how horrible would it be—if I asked for its return?  I could pay more for it, have it cleaned.  I would never wear it again: swear.

 

I would keep it in draped plastic bags, dark, alone.

 

But there was no polite way to make such a request.

 

So she used mnemonic devices, photographing, gossiping

 

Mnemonic devices: loneliness instead.

 

Obituary Notes

 

  1. This is what disposable income looks like?

 

  1. To tame, of tame, for tame

 

  1. Preservation as colonialist keeps

 

  1. A lifetime of the wrong ideas

 

  1. I already spent it all!

 

  1. It’s always felt like mine—

 

  1. & for her daughter:

 

  1. To all the moments you said there was no one else—

 

***

 

Eunsong Kim is a writer and educator residing in southern California. Her essays on literature, digital cultures, and art criticism have appeared and are forthcoming in: Scapegoat, Lateral, The New Inquiry, Model View Culture, AAWW’s The Margins, and in the book anthologies, Global Poetics, Critical Archival Studies, and Reading Modernism with Machines. Her poetry has been published in: Denver Quarterly, Seattle Review, Feral Feminisms, Minnesota Review, Iowa Review, and Action Yes. Her first book will be published by Noemi press in 2017.

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