The old masters

got them wrong,


their locations, at

least. Not pinned


at the spine like a moth’s

or the bone blade spurt.


From the tiny bloom

of sternum I swept


over shoulders, fanned,

arc’d. Slit for heavy arms.


How on earth do you

expect to walk in them? Ha.


Be/hold balsa ribbons

planed, laced, bindings,


not for flight but descent.

How will you care for me,


keep me from fire.

It sings, you know,





a promise to be ever

sewn into the sun.



After a corset from the Alexander McQueen collection No. 13, spring/summer 1999.

Originally published in Rust + Moth.