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How to Sew a Spacesuit, 1968

Dear ____________,

I’ve taken to pinning patterns on your bedroom floor

where we dragged the sweating moon.

Practical astronomy—our seam allowances

smaller than a sewing needle’s eye. Above us, the ceiling strewn with flowers

cut from the leftover wallpaper of another room.

If you can’t dampen your grief,

what will keep your fingers from being lured

under the needle in sleep, from the bared teeth

of the feed dog gathering up fabric in the wake

of our hands? Remember—one stitch fired

per footfall means fewer discarded suits.

If you can’t forgive your scissors—chalk this constellation overhead: the long arm

of the machine where we turn & turn again the whole body of your future

daughter’s spacesuit.

About heirlooms, you know what they say— + We will have to split one

needle / this winter—one end for me, / one end for air. +

How we make do and mend is not always fair.

from Little Envelope of Earth ConditionsFind more by Cori A. Winrock at the library

Copyright © 2020 Cori A. Winrock
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Cori A. Winrock Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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