Thursday, June 6, 2013

Words from a Button

I am a button of bone - hewn from the tibia of a dead donkey, sanded smooth between the thumb and index finger of a woman the age of time. After smoothing me she bore me through with an awl slivered from an anvil of desire. The anchor was imperative. As far as I can gather the woman lived in a world of wind, a turning world - going, spinning unhitched to solitude or contemplation. When she began her threading I was still hot from the piercing but curious about the garment to which I would be married. Would it be a bustled affair, pride-starched and florid, or would it be something hospitable and pattern-free that might give my curves a chance to be seen? The garment surprised us both. She took the skin of a dead jack ass and burnished its hide to a shine, then soaked it in a brine of salted honey, rolled it smooth with almond hulls and ironed it with stones warmed over cedar bark flames. When I first felt the touch of that old jack ass, I thought, Dear Jesus what wonders come from your hand. Look how you've coverted that old beast. And then my throat caught in surprise as I was reminded of that old dry bone from which I impossibly hailed.

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