The last time I wore yellow, I was eleven
in the bathroom of the Rufus Reed Public Library,

staring at the buttons of my blouse, crying.
The top one had come unfastened. 

Maybe that’s where this bad luck was coming from.
My mother had dropped me off to finish a school project

and left with my sister, but that was hours ago.
My friend and her mother had already gone, 

our project complete. Now here I was –
abandoned, alone. With the library

about to close, I would be turned out 
into the parking lot of the hardware store.

Hapless, I would wander, my yellow shirt tattering
until someone found me and gave me the news

I had been taught to expect.
I fastened the top button and splashed my face in the sink

God I hated that blouse.
I wandered to the foyer with fake nonchalance,

rifled my fingers through the card catalog,
and made my way to the chairs where the newspapers hung

like limp dishtowels on wooden frames.
On a shelf, magazines faced outward, glossy.

I picked one up – seventeen – too old for me but
I was an orphan now. I made my own rules.

Krissy Taylor, supermodel, smiled from the page, 
her long blonde hair parted straight down the middle,

little flips at the front on each side.
I’d never seen anything like it.

I unbuttoned my top button. 
The door jingled.

My mother appeared before me
Agner purse in hand

Are you ready to go? she asked, not dead after all.
I’m going to grow my bangs out, I told her, 

and buttoned the top black button
one last time.