Solving you wasn’t something i studied for
but fixing you was.
not a math problem or a crossword, but a sock that just had a few too many
holes, and i darned them with the assured promise
that you would never even need to pay me back
and if you did
it would be in minutes
spent watching your laughter lines
and letting me practice sewing them
into every lining
of your every coat
i can’t sew but i’ve wound the navy cotton tight around my little fingers to
remind myself what morse code was when you held my hand underneath the table
my pulse beats back
up my arm and into the garbled knot where a
romantic might say the heart is.
all you needed was a few patches and you were as right as rain,
whatever that meant.
i’m sure if i just unfocused my eyes
to repeat the sight of your blotchy knuckles
i would figure you out in a second.
i suppose you could say
i am a fan of housekeeping
and that doesn’t come naturally in my veins
let me tell you
that little sliver of blue has never felt the urge to
offer a neighbour sugar as much as it has ever had oxygen
taste so sweet
my mother will tell you that even though my dad had me stand to attention
and would present wet spoons to me like medals
i have never taken up the tea towel willingly,
and have, in fact thrown in said towel, too many times.
i take up arms when the strings have been cut
hoist you up on shoulders like atlas’ globes
my spidey-senses tingle when you uncover a web of lies
or if your bedside lamp starts to burn into the bedsheets
i take up needle and thread and sew you back together, stuffing and all,
build-a-braver you than you thought there could be
my sewing box is my fingers
and i’m embarrassed to admit it but
my twelve year old sister can knit better than I
my fingers are softer and you can always see the holes in my patterns
without having to focus on them
if i use my smallest thimble, though
i might not bleed
when you turn up unannounced
with red patches on your elbow and knees
i know i have another hole to make whole again
every time i see you
the stars disappear
i try to find meaning and sew the stars together
to make a constellation,
but your darning is red
the stars disappear.
this is not a metaphor
this is the truth (and i know you will respect that)
but the rest of this poem was. it all is.
it all is. it all is. it all is