That Black High-Necked Dress


“Intricate Goth Portrait” by Dale Innis

That Black High-Necked Dress

I know you..I was you
and the first time I laid my eyes
on your face,
I was drawn to you..
one might say obsessively,
I might say that too.
I admit your whole scene
drew me into you.. because
at one time, I was you
lost in the pages of Edgar Allan Poe.

Death was the homework
I imposed on myself
and I was gathering
every scrap of truth
to what it could really mean
because it made no sense to me.
My clothes went darker
for my father’s funeral;
at eleven. I dressed like
a Greek villager in mourning.
At home from school,
I would change into
that black high-necked dress
that I wore,
the last time I saw his face
lying in his coffin
he winked at me…
it was like he let me in
on an elaborate joke…
that soon the whole world
would finally see
He hadn’t died at all..
but he only told me,
I knew he would return
and I waited
and waited
and waited.
My nose bleeds started then
and my mother grew worried
and told me
“Take off that damn dress
It’s so depressing.”

So of course,
when I laid my eyes on you…
I saw me,
I think you saw me too;
and soon you will hang
on a wall of my room…
sad pensive,
looking at me
through your down-turned
to always remind me.
how once you were me
and that a part of me,
was and always will be…


Karima Hoisan
October 11, 2022
Costa Rica

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32 Responses to That Black High-Necked Dress

  1. daleinnis says:

    Ach, beautiful and moving! It touches me so that you have been finding inspiration in my inchoate little images… thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Dale…and yes you are right..many of your images have inspired not only poetry, but 3D world building. This one as you know..(which is the Poster Girl of the world AI Dreams in Art,) struck me from the first second…Now, 6weeks later, I realize why:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. rothpoetry says:

    Very beautifully done.


  3. Jaya Avendel says:

    Rich, gorgeous writing! I love the distinct imagery. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Karima, that last stanza slays me. Unreal and amazing.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Linda Bass says:

    Soul-tugging depth!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. swadharma9 says:

    i love how this is coming together for you: the healing, the integration of the loss & sorrow into a tender inclusiveness with your own shyly hidden self. it feels like acceptance, & it feels good.🙏🏼❤️🙏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest soulkin, I “knew” when Dale first showed me this image that I was touched deeply. I couldn’t stop looking at it, and it is the first image you see on our virtual world too, but it wasn’t until yesterday, I realized who she was to me..and this poem poured out…yes it’s a healing, a realization, this little girl is still inside, still remembering, even today Thank you for your positive way of seeing me….and Everything 🤗🌹❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • swadharma9 says:

        a positive way of seeing is the most fundamental magic we can access. it changes darkness into a caring presence who will see us through to the light again, with a story of healing to tell when words finally come🙏🏼🌹❤️

        Liked by 1 person

    • In response to your 2nd comment…Yes! and so beautifully put! 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  7. KK says:

    So poignant and beautiful, and so touching lines! And awesome imagery too! Your writing is different. All the best 👍💐

    Liked by 1 person

  8. calmkate says:

    hauntingly realistic … a parents lose at such a young age impacts deeply! Well crafted Karima

    Liked by 1 person

  9. beautiful, mesmerizing and always strikes a cord into the soul Karima. Such a gift. 💗


  10. Navin says:

    Amazing art by Dale…this poem of yours gave me this feeling as if for a moment my blood stopped streaming…I was watching this poem in scenes…I was picturing you through your words…that’s the power of your writings…I’m sure your voice would add that extra zing…if you ever decide to create a spoken word…I’m already listening to your voice in my head…and there’s background music as well…beautifully expressed, my dear friend 💫

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh Navin, thank you so much and I think you are right…the poem would lend itself to a spoken word piece…if I find the music, I will do it, inshallah, and dedicate it to you…for urging me on:) This poem is very personal and yet universal…parent loss is a reality, for so many children, for so many reasons..The trauma is life lasting…but the lessons learned shape us forever too. Thank you again my generous, perceptive, poetic friend 🌹

      Liked by 1 person

      • Navin says:

        How beautiful…”This poem is very personal and yet universal”…yeah, I can actually see…but you’ve expressed it so well…that’s the reason I could see it on my screen…wise words that “the lessons learned shape is forever too”…it’s my pleasure reading & sensing your piece 💫

        Liked by 1 person

    • Love your second comment too Navin…thank you for connecting so easily with me and my work 🌹

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Jeff Flesch says:

    “sad pensive,
    looking at me
    through your down-turned
    eyes,” I love this line, and the poem in its entirety. It reminds me of my days as a skater, punk-infused youth, and the massive amounts of resistance, paradoxical to my also sensitive and loving nature, coursing through my young body, remnants of which persist, in much lower doses, today. Gorgeous poetry, Karima. 🌹❤️🤗


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