May 01, 2005


I watched as your thick fingers fumbled
with borrowed needle and thread. The button
was falling off your favorite DKNY shorts.
Determined to take care of it once and for all,
you sat on the bathroom floor with my sewing kit.
Unseasoned, you did not loop the thread; instead
you hand knotted the thread to the eye of the needle.
Brushing my teeth, I stopped myself from correcting,
watched from the mirrored reflection.
I almost laughed at your first couple of frustrated gasps
as needle met skin. The third one, however,
was enough to send those navy shorts flying.

Your shoulders shook violently as you folded in sobs.
I knelt down to hold you. Your head seemed small
in my hands - boyish - unlikely to cause such stress.
I sifted my fingers through your black threads,
willing the soft ties to sew backward, delicately
stitch up your twisting cavern, close off both ends
and entrances, keep anything else from escaping.
Your crying stopped and you left my side.
All I could do was pick up your shorts and start from scratch.
All I could save was your DKNY button.

by E. M. Soos

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