The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Eileen R. Tabios’ “INVENT(ST)ORY”

Eileen Tabios pic

I Forgot My Skin Was Ruin

I forgot Mohammed welcoming Jews and Christians for they, too, are “People of the Book.”

I forgot the air of a country where the love for a woman is the love for a man is the love for Allah!

I forgot authenticity always wanders.

I forgot defining ambition as the helpless compulsion to write songs for women who will never wear headscarves.

I forgot we accepted a colonizer’s alphabet in exchange for electricity.

I forgot he learned her body as a white finger holding back starlight.

I forgot symmetries shaped by memory lapses.

I forgot the empress humming calculus.

I forgot the weaver who formed holes shaped as tears.

I forgot You there with blue veins cracking transparent membrane.

I forgot preening over a labyrinth.

I forgot the skin of jasmine mirroring sky.

I forgot a girl loving marble enough to freeze into a swoon.

I forgot a white azalea quieting shade into a girl.

I forgot desiring most when it rained.

I forgot the plankton beneath the wave, radiating from green to gold with the onset of wet sunlight.

I forgot how dusk enhanced conversations.

I forgot cheer dispersed through fishnet stockings.

I forgot “Mutual Funds” is an oxymoron.

I forgot the momentary immortality of a new car.

I forgot Manolo Blahnik’s elegy for crocodiles.

I forgot how effectively lineage seduces.

I forgot the Bengal Tiger mimicking a helicopter’s dance.

I forgot “abashed aubergine.”

I forgot vivid is subjective.

I forgot fear is a loss.

I forgot Beauty can be reasonable.

I forgot envying the thorns.

I forgot a pedestal bloodied by what who leapt from it.

I forgot belting my jeans with a used halo.

I forgot my feet mischievously walking two inches above ground.

I forgot a girl shrieking as her swing soared towards a boiling sky.

I forgot your fingers reaching to caress the hollows formed when my knees bent.

I forgot the violet bruise from a rifle’s intimacy.

I forgot birds forming a toupee for trees.

I forgot the big-bellied man whispering Murder can remain mere story over a cigar smoked

down to the length of my then-enchanting thumb.

I forgot your hands paused before my black brassiere.

I forgot you reminding, “Honey, angels may fall but they never die.”

I forgot to be an angel is to be alone in a smudged gown, fingers poking through holes burnt

by epistemology.

I forgot drinking from ancient goblets whose cracked rims snagged lips into a bleeding burning.

I forgot my skin was ruin.

I forgot the baby rattlesnake staining asphalt green after it was ran over by a neighbor who,

it was rumored, adored massive mahogany libraries jam-packed with cracked leather covers,

yellowing pages, and wisdom best left forgotten.

I forgot the difficulty in dying the world saw me as a humpback.

This selection comes from Eileen R. Tabios’ collection INVENT(ST)ORY, available now from Dos Madres Press. Purchase your copy here!

Eileen R. Tabios loves books and has released about 40 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in nine countries and cyberspace. Her most recent is INVENT(ST)ORY: Selected Catalog Poems and New 1996-1915 (Dos Madres Press, 2015). With poems translated into seven languages, she also has edited, co-edited or conceptualized ten anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays in addition to serving as editor or guest editor for various literary journals.  She maintains a biblioliphic blog, “Eileen Verbs Books“; edits Galatea Resurrects, a popular poetry review; steers the literary and arts publisher Meritage Press; and frequently curates thematic online poetry projects including LinkedIn Poetry Recommendations (a recommended list of contemporary poetry books).  More information is available at

librecht baker. Dembrebrah West African Drum and Dance Ensemble member. Kouman Kele Dance and Drum Ensemble memeber. MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. VONA/Voices & Lambda Literary Fellow. Sundress Publications’ Assistant Editor. Poetry in Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices & CHORUS: A Literary Mixtape. Currently, birthing & manifesting.



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