hopeless cross-stitch

Again that hopeless cross-stitch in her lap?

See how the restless fingers thatch, and itch.

If only she inclined to rip the thread

With one saw-tooth, to end the sordid row.

I hate her like this; hate the endless stitch,

Stitch, counter-stitch, the ugly popcorn wads,

And mean pursuit, pressed at the needle’s point,

Precise, enfleshed with countless colored threads.

Meanwhile, I breathe in brilliant selvage shocks

And time my breath and pinking with the pokes

Inflicted on her poor wholecloth; the needle

Flashes like a fish within a glass.

I look away—the fabric’s hers to suture

And riddle with one dext’rous, itching hand,

Until she winds the hateful, sucking threads

Around her little finger, knots, and snips.