i was threaded together by the silk of a thousand silkworms,
my mother explained to me as tears ran in rivulets,
dollar store mascara tattooing my clavicle.
i remember its black ink etching a map of my jagged scars,
as mouths of thin black rivers kiss the ones that are crimson red.
that was the first time i learned that father’s hands could shapeshift
from caress to careless.
silk, i’ve learned, doesn’t break that easily.
no—its threads gauze my wounds when my clumsy hands couldn’t,
its minute strength coursing through my veins.
over time, the multi-colored threads looked as though
they had been hand-selected from the sky—from rainbows
that had once found refuge in my cherubic eyes.
my parents’ threads were different.
their tapestry was tackiness,
but her aged hands quickly learned to sew over its holes.
until finally, my mother transformed into skinny threads herself,
the very fiber of her being
locked within his clutches.
but this time, the threads are withering and fragile,
and even the silkworms have finally retreated into their cocoons.
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