“Aria” by Sam Regal

Sometimes I’m shopping online, which is something I love to do, shop online, as every store is a new puzzle to solve, like, which clothes would I buy if I shopped here, and sometimes I end up buying the clothes, so I guess you could say it’s very meta and works on a few levels, and I stumble across something that I didn’t know I needed, like, say, a black bardot crop top, and it’s like suddenly I’m meeting the lord Jesus Christ or found the path to Enlightenment because I feel, out of nowhere, absolutely convinced that this is the one clothing item I have always been missing, like since infancy or conception, and that having this thing, wearing it but really just the owning it, the possessing it, will finally Change My Life in the ways I’ve been waiting for it to change, and it’s like I enter a fugue, I short circuit, I hit “purchase” and there I am, sort of shocked, addled, kind of post-coital, like exhausted but satisfied but not totally satisfied, and if I’ve ordered, say, a pair of bright pink palazzo pants that I know will need tailoring and I know I will never tend to, I feel itchy, and blue, and a little dumb, maybe, or sexless and vast like the last woman on Earth, and I start wondering after creepy stuff, like regarding my personality and whether I am worthy of love despite all the raisins in my bed, and I open another website and hope I don’t get struck by a thunderbolt of object fancy but sometimes I do, sometimes it happens, I hit “purchase” and the cycle repeats itself, and has been, really, repeating itself for some years, you should see my dresser, the drawers don’t close, they’re all overstuffed with shit, with pink and sateen fabrics that I don’t wear or know what to do with, that I drape around my hips like a hand, like a gift, and I know, at least at home in the mirror, alone among my things, objects too precious for this city with its leers and grime and violence and dripping virulent ugly, that I am beautiful, a Chaos void spotlit in pink, singing my body’s sweeping arias.

Sam Regal is a playwright, poet, performer, and recent transplant from Brooklyn to Athens, Georgia. Her translation of Yao Feng’s One Love Only Until Death was published in 2017 by Vagabond Press, and her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from SumThe Wild WorldNoD MagazineLucent Dreaming, and elsewhere. A former resident at TENT within the Yiddish Book Center, Sam was awarded the Colie Hoffman Prize in Poetry in 2017. She earned her M.F.A. from Hunter College and now studies within the Creative Writing Ph.D. Program at the University of Georgia.