Old cloth sin
I live in a case of cloth,
each day swaddles me closer to my breasts,
to my breathing.
I leave the house
with my unpicked eyes, cross stitching the sky,
mostly looking out for sin.
But sometimes, sin and I sit in
and let I him slit his wrists across my lap in bright red cloth
ribbons. Then I can't see no sense but for the sequin sky
and my body, with its broken button breasts.
I open the windows of my loom house
to let the moon patterns in. I tell the neighbours, it helps with breeding.
I ask the pretty ones about their babies breathing,
remind them, that a mother's love is no sin,
need a heart and hearth, like good strong oilcloth,
to keep little ones in. And then, I watch them with their reeling breasts
wind back against the black net sky.
Sometimes I stand out a while and reason with the sky
but I find it difficult to pace my breath
when the thing I want makes my breasts
look like lies. And it's then I slip my dress off and let the un-doings in.
I imagine babies lined up like bolts of cloth
mine to scissor slice from wombs. Then I hear the house,
creak its stitches, in that way that houses
have, and say to the seamless sky
that I am but sackcloth
worn bare with all the bleeding,
that it's a kind of evolution, revealing the original sin,
as 'my sort', need reminding. So, I rip the buttons off my breasts
and sing, because what difference do two bleeding breast
wounds make if I cannot fill the house
I live in. I sing that I am suffocating beneath the layers of sin
and why keep it in, when the jute sky
outside will find a weave to keep me breathing.
I cry that I cannot carry my babies like cloth
can keep my breasts in, I cry to the sky
that maybe its my house, and the depth with which I breathe in
all the complicated patterning of old cloth sin.