Our living and dying, like clothes we might pick out
from a rack and put on, that we might drop on the floor
of a fitting room, or discard after the season’s trends
are tired of bell sleeves or camouflage. Mostly, we need
to tailor and repair everything to our own dimensions.
Mother used to have a cabinet with glass doors, in which
she stored the most precious of her garments. I wonder where
they are now— the damask skirts, the pencil-cut suits and
sheaths with their Jackie O collars, the yards and yards
of silver lace and scratchy tulle. In the market we scoured
the shelves of Chinese dry goods merchants, folded triangles
of Tetoron like flags giving off heavy vapors in each stall.
She flicked her nail over each surface or fingered their nap,
testing how skin might breathe through silk, cotton, viscose.

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