A. E. Stallings

It is a dream that she has had before—
           How could she forget—
Anger like a bolt of blood-red velvet
Unfurling in bright throbs across the floor,

And how words like a box of pins that tips
           Off the table, bounce
In all directions, none she can renounce,
Not even three she’s holding in her lips.

Beneath her hand the cloth is sliced asunder,
           And as the crossed blades shear
Like swallow wings, it sounds like when the air
Begins to rip before a clap of thunder.

The garment that she fashions out of it,
           Bias, off the shoulder,
Although it makes her pale somehow, and older—
She’s taken measures—it’s a perfect fit.

As for the scattered pins she can’t retrieve,
           Even should she gather
All those on the floor, there are the other
Three she forgot about, sewn in her sleeve.


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