DEAR SEAMSTRESS PIDGE,
I have mended my trousers 117 times
using the needle in my emergency kit
and black thread until black thread
emptied into spool now I build
worsted by chewing the leaves
of a pepper tree my lips bleed
my sewing skills poor as ever
my trousers have held up
except for rain days when I walk
naked through the camp singing
The Assurance March
we shouted it in church
in our pinafores
good little Christians marching
up to the bucket and hiding our pennies
dropped in rocks
CAN WE KNOW THAT JESUS SAVES US
CAN WE KNOW (THAT JESUS SAVES US)
CAN WE BE ASSURED EACH MOMENT
EVERY WHERE WE (EVERY WHERE WE GO
Bethany Stiles pounded the piano
117 times Pidge and I still can't sew
a straight stitch
FROM THE MISSING DIARY:
Kinner "The Canary"
Tri-motor Fokker "Friendship"
Lockheed Electra 10E
I walk the wing on the wing always around the wing say my multiplication tables 17 X 35 = 595 always the threes always with a three inside did you see those crackerbox airsters clunky predawn check the internal fuel capacity not what we thought not not not what we thought if you say I forgot serial number Y1C-36 a true 10E born that way honestly I was more concerned about the loss of the beautiful aircraft than walking the wing on the wing always and around the wing every morning
DEAR ANITA NETA MY CURLY HEADED MARY
You beaky nosed wonder how I miss your strong horse throat stretching out scrubbing the Long Beach sand Valentine Girl I try to float back correct my path I've stopped bleeding only forty two and I've stopped was bound to happen my rag soaked in salt water month after month we used to pray for it I'm mostly animal now my feet are hooves my rib aches where I cracked it falling my breasts gone my hair a shrub Snook try not to breathe lie in the tide pool and spin
Your Darling A.
TO MY MURIEL, MY DOPPELGÄNGER, MY DARLING, MY NEGATIVE EYE,
You mad scientist with a swing set.
I hear you banged your chin.
Little sister, don't go down,
don't go down the stairs into the dark
unadorned. I have sent you holiday gifts –
Marchpane comfits, mead, pickled meats.
I am too young to be doing such work.
There are waves here that don’t move.
Who would have suspected such a thing?
I need a new swimsuit.
There are animals here feral dogs but sleek with slick fur or no fur in certain kinds of light and rabbits and pigs. They are slippery wet. I have killed seven pigs but am hungry for dog if I can catch one skinny snarl I'd throw a stick and name it Bucket or bash its head skin and roast it as you taught me over the fire pit. I think I could sew a hat or a scant cape. You once told me I was too big for a girl and too small for a horse. Now I'm too small for even a girl. I believe the wasps are thread-waisted or mud-daubers. They build in the ground. I stepped on a nest last night the bastards my great toe is stung. Pain burst into pain. I scraped the stingers out with a clam shell.
Your Obedient Daughter Amelia
FROM THE MISSING DIARY:
dilettante deep float float the bees inside my throat between my legs you said honey trap hot spots cold spots hands in my hair climbed me like a disease a water road around that house made gifts of sweet potato and dental insurance in your kitchen wide open mouth slipped into I wanted to love you let’s stay here unbuttoned you three times your open mouth your tongue who knew what the Lazarus tube was for or where it would end pleasure pressure you only promised five years