She holds regret between her teeth
like a red thread of punishment
she can’t fit through a needle -
every time she tries to get rid of it,
his face pricks the corner of her thoughts
and she starts all over again.
She sits there,
a reproachful patchwork of emotions
picking at the loose threads that lay
between him and her,
like a vulture who picks
at bones already clean of meat.
She was threadbare,
hanging like broken seams
cut from blue muslin squares
and bleached in the sun.
Smells of mothballs
and old fabric clippings
rushed the insides of her nostrils,
while she unspun a new spool of black thread,
replacing the red one -
frayed and covered in her saliva.
The remnants of desperate attempts
to force a broken thing into working.
When she pulls the black thread through -
when she no longer feels
a familiar tug on the sinews
connecting her heart to her ribcage -
she allows herself to take in the colours
of the world she knew before:
ochres, indigos, mauves, even pewters -
thimbles to the needle
memories that pricked her mind.
Weaving the needle in and out -
through loops woven from moments
stitched into her skin and mind,
the story of letting go.
Prompt: “1. … find a passage [of your writing] dominated by your attention to imagery and the way your language sounds… Transfer it onto a page and begin making a poem from this skeleton.” from Nancy Pagh’s Write Moves, pg 44.