John Grey

A Woman of Such Fabric

My first time in your apartment,
I noticed how your sewing machine took pride of place.
Along with your knitting needles.
And a quilt that you’d been working on for years.

You fondled fabric as if it were skin,
offered to embroider my name on my sweater.
On our second date, I lost a button.
A goodnight kiss followed a goodnight refastening.

I’d never known a woman before,
so accomplished, so adroit with needle and thread,
who could put the knees back in my blue jeans,
reclaim a fraying shirt.

Your hand movement was sylph-like
but purposeful as well.
You’ve no idea how I softened
at the thought of you stitching on that ‘John.’

And what’s romance compared
to a seam that’s picking itself apart.
Or passion that only culminates
when you notice the rip in my shirt.

Now so much of what those fingers do is for me.
Never again will coins spill through holes in my pocket.
And there’s that incessant knit one, purl one.
It’s the way you have of whispering my name.

And here you are, so close up to a loose thread,
your eyes, my button hole, meet.
My outfit is in love.
What else can I do but wear it.


John GreyJohn Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review and Roanoke Review.

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