The poem that started as
‘An Aubade: to My Favorite Black Dress’

Andrea Passwater



I bought you in the summer
of watermelon. The day of eating
an entire yellow watermelon
and nothing else. Spitting out the hard
seeds, chewing the soft ones out
of laziness. Intending
to save half for tomorrow,
but slipping. Thinking It’s okay
then: Is it okay? before deciding
Yes, you are okay, the you being me,
the okay being dismissal.

When I was a small
lie I was 24” around the biggest
part of my hips. The lie was
about my bone structure. Did you
know when your body needs
nutrients it can dismantle
your cells? That the skin on your feet
will melt between your bones?
In the summer of watermelon
I bought all new shoes, none
of which were yellow.

In the summer of watermelon—
summer as in four or five years
of boiled cabbage and an undiagnosed
condition we called poor
circulation, as in the thrill of cold
scale mornings before
water, grey-light lines
blinking        nine    seven
point   eight—seeing you… 

the look of you draped
over my hips, soft & loose,
elusive, the way you sharpened
my shoulders and tapered
my waist. I coveted the body
you gave me. Together
we were unstoppable, we were
marketable, a billboard selling
want. Together…we were a cold
denial, weren’t we?

We were dangerous, you
and I, beautiful, in that summer
of watermelon, laying under our
bright yellow sky, knowing
how okay we were, as
a pile of bones and cloth
and withering,
shielding our eyes behind
the sunglasses that otherwise
would have fallen from our face.



Andrea Passwater is a writer and experimental artist based in San Francisco. Her main focus is exploring a wide range of perspectives on single moments in time. She a member of the Action Format art collective and If I Told Napoleon Writers. You can follow her hyperboles on Instagram: @andreapasswater.