hook a hook for an eye this ribbon for a slip there’s a pigeon in the pot and tree makes the room your foot on the boards your head in the sky no mind if your stockings snag are splinter-caught the red thread frayed or snag walk now on swollen feet on feet that are bound-in with red and orange with stocking threads these can be mended these can be made whole again you wouldn’t even notice the tear
sequins red on gold under gold the red thread will tie in the sequin the dress will transform from the funerary gown of soft cloth metal pearl mother-of-pearl the peacock sequins emphasise the scar, where it was cradled in soft cloth / it shifts with light it now shifts with light a battle armour with shiny metal frilling a mail-coat an armoured dress the metal frill catches and disperses light from embonpoint to point of candlelight it is no dust no accretion of dust occurs in the music of fabric flame does not show yellow in blue blue glass sequin it: it hides the wound sequin it: with the red thread sequin it: the loosed skein tack it in stitch on stitch and sequin it cover it
red on gold the new dress red on gold under gold red the thread will tie into the dress will transform it from funerary gown to soft cloth of gold on gold on red laid beneath cinnabar the leaf glue piece-by-piece to the wet yolk paint they are making me a new red gown of threaded threadless pin-pricked and the tooled leaf what new fossil is this?
spool red thread unravels in its wooden box sepulchered with: loose sequins button-bones needles wires furled tape measures theres a jawed scissors for cutting rough cloth and linen-stuffs I am two: my bisection is equatorial not a vertical splice or gather-to walking broken-footed does little for my mermaid humour I’d rather lie in three: head torso and bottom-half: but they disallow me the luxury they have made this dress for me their cunning craft formed the exsosexo skeleton of my thigh-gap emblazoned with its stone whorl
Chris Murray is a poet and essayist. Her most recent book Gold Friend was published in 2020 by Turas Press, Dublin. Chris is working on her sixth book and loves the work that goes into making books. Chris founded ‘Poethead’ a site dedicated to platforming work by women poets, their translators, and editors. A member of Fired! Irish Women Poets and the Canon, she archives objects related to the canonical neglect of women poets at RASCAL, Queen’s University, Belfast.