Sewing Lessons




Scissors and paper, needles and knives—

      white chalk and the outline of a body

on tracing paper. We were always

       trying to make copies of ourselves,

    each time on better material. Mother's favorite

       was satin or chiffon. My love

for things that shine and loft

     must come from this. My quickness

to tears, habit of tearing out hems

       and losing one of a pair: talents

     I learned on my own. Loneliness is a row

       of buttons not touching, closing a dress

all the way to the top: mother-

     of-pearl silences, their shallow depths

swirling with all the things we didn't say.


In response to Via Negativa: Visionary.

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