Two poems from Anatomy of a Dress

anatomy of a dress

Juliette van der Molen presents two poems from her work in progress, the chapbook ‘Anatomy of a Dress’:

My Hem

my hem is not

the waterline

of marked desire

or intention

it is just

a finished

edge that falls




it is not

a signal

to send hands

into a

traffic pattern

or to


it is not up

for debate


for speculation,

it asks

for nothing.


Silhouette Shame

bedrock formation,



beneath careful hands

and watchful gaze,

dress up in

Cinderella silhouettes

and mother’s high heels,

that always felt

too big— to fill,

swelled to bleeding,

beyond play-acting,


into sheaths

with hems to tempt

eyes and fingers,

a primal prowl

in backseats

under cover of darkness.

my mouth open,

resistance swallowed,

hands mold me

into shame

as the moon bobs

through a car window,

and the swings on

the playground are stilled

beneath an eyeful sky.


Author notes

These poems are taken from up my upcoming chapbook, Anatomy of a Dress. They tell the tale of my own complex history with the things that cover my body and how they become infused with experiences that shape my own inner anatomy.