Pattern, say I, let me lend you a hand;
let the threads pass through the holes in
my fingers; let them wave, let them touch
For what are buttons, say I, but:
a means of closure, a covering up;
your way of telling me that you are able
to unfasten thoughts as quickly as I can
unthread our past: on clothes sewn
for the pair of us; purchased for us,
loved by us, for only we can unmask
dignity with nakedness, so far untouched.
Between miles of patterned flowers, you say,
are only embroidery and pastiche; let us build
us a cloth, an empire, that only dreams of
stars and the stuff between them—
For what is cloth, say I, but:
an unwritten law: those of us who think we know
the same clasps, unzip and find ourselves, even
then, fully clothed.
Seamstress, perhaps we should say together,
we have had enough. The stitch running
on our fairy wings burden us to no end;
we have forgotten our needles; our bolts
of silk; our collapse into incoherence.
We render the styles of our dress:
Yet even unmarked skin is also death, so
at night we cover up in blankets what we see
plainly by light of day (how every sleeve locks
us in!). Now would you strip us,
Seamstress, down to our ripest culpability,
ripe as newborn children again?