Posted in: Femme au chapeau, poem, purses

Too Many Purses

I have too many purses. There, now you know too much about me. Character flaw: fashion hoarding. Too many scarves, too. And strings of pearls — that would need a whole other blog post. In celebration of flaws and how they can become houses, boats, toolkits, and other things, here is my poem. Coach Handbags should send me a freebie, don’t you think?


Ode to My Purse
The three French handbags came
with lifetime warranties. Clasping
heavy straps, I cinch them saddle-tight
against the grasping world.
Dark wells, they incubate details,
stash my days in hidden rooms.
My black postman’s case clacks
clock-neat on thigh, ticking tasks.
Weekends I sling a red pouch that eats
torn tickets and topless lipsticks. Keys
to many locks eel through my caramel creel.
Open Purse, I say: swallow phone, glasses, cash.
Bring home to me, magician’s hat. I chant,
lovely Coach-crafted clutch, catch! You
soft maw, yawn to gorge and stow
my emblems. Stretch and hold the zoo
of me, the proof, spoil and tool.

From my book Femme au chapeau
— first published in The Atlanta Review (Thanks, Dan Veach!)

Visit for more information and writing by Rachel Dacus.