in the garden, you shed patches
like a dogwood tree. i followed you.
i caught every single one:
your paisley laugh, your polkadot mornings,
& your curious pure blue stripes. 
then, alone, i sewed them
in rows of eight. watched the quilt swell 
to the length of my tiny bedroom. 
slept encircled in your acres.
how can we begin to measure land? 
same as we do our bodies.
i take scissors to cut stray thread.
wipe my face off in a fogged mirror.
outside, every single tree is ripe 
with red apples. you are long ago a voicemail.
captured & repeated. clothe torn 
into so many pieces. sometimes i wonder
who, if anyone else, sews together instants.
takes a needle from the desk drawer
& selects the maroon thread?
when i'm wrapped in the quilt 
i almost believe you are alive again.
most day i don't believe in girls at all. 
animated in each seam. you used to 
let your hair down only on the graveyard hill.
pocketed the smoothest rocks. listened
to autumn exhale her orange.
all across the pennsylvania wilderness
leaves are turning into creek water vessels
add another row of squares to the quilt. 
fold so it will fit beneath my bed. 
ambulance sirens spill their pins 
across the floor. more patches descend 
from the ceiling: a snapped twig,
a merri-go-round, & an orchid. 

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