Never had I desire to mend
hems or dangling buttons,

but tonight, though I can no longer
easy aim the frayed end

into the eye, though we squint,
needle and I, at each other,

and my hand trembles, yet feels true
the needle between my fingers,

the tether of thread as I pull it
through red linen, just the right

turn in my wrist, not too fast, thread
rubbing the blouse, repeating

mend, mend, my dearest, hold fast, let me
patch you, no one will know,

you limp in my hand, draped on my lap,
my other body. I with

my warm, fine instrument, you undone,
never whole without me.

I would sew till the world around wore
patches bright and uneven,

sew my childhood back into my bones,
I would bind, I would bind

what falls apart. My hand is happy—
piercing, rising, circling back—

taking me thou needle, thou red thread,
stitch to stitch, my way back,

taking there, and I go, what more
wanting, what more?