Picking Up My Wedding Dress

I circled the city block further out,
parked beneath the highway overpass
next to a huddle of cardboard
shelters and walked the six blocks alone.
What I’d liked most about San Francisco:
it was such a good place to be alone in.
I tried on the dress one last time and again
the seamstress tried to stuff my chest
with the padded cups. Like afternoon scones,
I refused them before, polite at first,
but always her hand reaching for my neckline,
smile with no smile in it, something
forceful between us. I tossed them
by the circular mirror
multiplying into puddles of milk.
To walk back into the gray sketch of that day
with so much satin and my casual panicked
face, as if carrying a tent or ream enough
to clothe a family, who was I to hold it,
I could not hold it, folding and unfolding
in my arms and trying also not to drag it
on the lived-in sidewalk, crossing
streets in a final moment of most singular
aloneness before not, past graffiti fences,
shag-boarded clubs. Next to the car, a man
squatting with his pants off, yelling
at everything and I stood across
from him in the salt and fecal air
with that white white sea-of- my-body
that had been for weeks
so carefully fitted to each slight curve,
I was someone who had been attended to—
how it burned my face—
the dress was holding me now as the bay wind
was also holding me pinned to concrete
where I could not look away.