ellen burt ≈ i am easily undone

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I am easily come undone

a piece of clothing fastened with velcro

one size fits all

able to absorb too many times too much

I am weighted by the gown of receptivity, sensitivity,

blackness to repel you

softness to embrace you

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a piece of velcro which winds about the neck, the chest, the heart

is easily pulled apart

my heart is easily ripped apart

I am dismembered from my chest in a kind of self arrest

from the crest of the blackness of self

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I am a twin, a clone of all I adore

or a curtain to all I abhor

a curtain of black which can’t

be pulled back

a garb I can’t retract

a guard I can’t relax

I am alone but not alone in coming apart

see this tear across my heart.

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I am a piece of clothing

not a shield and I am the one beneath the cloth

the elusive, hiding, squirming self

no one can find

and finding no one i am too tight, too soft, to clingy, too loose

never say too loose

too recluse but not too loose.

the others – loose jointed, unafraid

speak truth

I squeak at most

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I am a cloth flung limp across the arm

I am, I think, in need of serious repair,

a pair of faded jeans,

white at the wrinkles, deep in the creases, holes in places,

patches in bright colours,

underneath, material, threadbare

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I am barely hanging on, barely hanging in

a pair of jeans fitting too loose one day, too tight another,

a rag doll, mouth sewed shut, thick seam here.

I am sewed tight across the chest, the waist, the legs,

sometimes it’s hard to move in this body.

Stiff.

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I’ve been washed too many times

becoming limp and hard to stay on anyone

hard to stay with any one

hard

to hang together.

I am easily ripped apart.

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