ellen burt ≈ i am easily undone




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


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


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.


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


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


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.



I’ve been washed too many times

becoming limp and hard to stay on anyone

hard to stay with any one


to hang together.

I am easily ripped apart.



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