A kid said you could chew road tar if you got it before it cooled, black globule with a just-forming skin. He said it was better than cigarettes. He said he had a taste for it. On the same road, a squirrel was doing the Watusi to free itself from its crushed hindquarters. A man on a bicycle stomped on its head, then wiped his shoe on the grass. It was autumn, the adult word for fall. In school we saw a film called Reproduction. The little snake-father poked his head into the slippery future, and a girl with a burned tongue was conceived.
Sewing patterns are designed for imaginary
people, based on average measurements
taken in the 1930s by the WPA
and adjusted over the decades by the Industry.
I sew a Misses 14, designed for a woman
5’5” to 5’6”, 36/28/38,
which is to say no one,
so I alter the pattern to fit a phantom of me
instead of a phantom of her.
She doesn’t need any more dresses.