hand sewing

when i was twelve i wanted to make my own clothes.
mine always fit sideways & crumpled. 
i rectangled & hexogoned. 
my body grew in strange directions & destroyed
any noticeable shapes in me. 
needles moved through clothe 
like fingernails in cream.
we bought fabric in great sheets. every bolt is a flag 
no matter how small it shutters. 
a set of needles from the dollar store.
thin & glinting. dwindled teeth. my own teeth 
falling out of my skull & onto my speckled carpet. 
sitting at my desk i sewed aimless lines 
into clothe. barely patterns. trying to make
even stiches. pretended i was a woman
in a vague time before department stores 
& plastic clothing hangers. when i was twelve
i wanted to sew my own body. 
a skin cut from these machine woven sheets. pulled 
over my skeleton to make a girling person.
pricked my fingers. little buds of blood.
all my stiches. little crop rows.
outside, november was coming 
& all the corn fields folded inward.
in pennsylvania, winter slowly strips everything.
a hazy dress outline on the floor. dead girl.
i didn't have mirrors in my bedroom
but i had a window & i held the dress outline
to my body there. it could fit. so many stiches.
thin fabric. a house slicing wind
spreading goosebumps across my arms.
the distance between a goal
& our own fingers waning strength.
the dress, a loose sack to carry me 
to the other side of the sunset.
i put my needles to sleep in their case.

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