Sometimes Housework Tightens Me to the Material Reality of This World

Kodi Saylor
| poetry



poets read about birds while I cut out a sewing pattern

the fabric should be washed before it is cut

poets say thank you thank you thank you while I

reread the instructions not sure how to read the sewing pattern

not sure reread watch a video explain exactly how to read the pattern

nothing warms like wool

nothing holds together like thread woven into fabric

fabric is the world’s greatest invention

there I declared it

afraid while Matt reads poetry in the other room

our internet is not strong enough for me to join the zoom room

I listen from the other room through the door smoothing my hands

over the onion skin

of the sewing pattern            jealous out of my mind

rereading the instructions while poets invoke bears

Matt says Paul and I say Cleopatra

his hero is a mathematician

mine is a dead queen

somedays house words are enough—washing

so much washing

food    food to be selected, bought, cut, washed, heated,

mixed—waited on,

spiced, and stirred over and over.

then eaten.


the birds show up first a magpie then the crow

words and their names hang in the doorways

not angles just white worn dresses stained with mulberries

bitter and mocking like the jay who shows up late


Kodi Saylor received her MFA in poetry at New York University, where she was a Lillian Vernon Fellow. Her poems have appeared in Indianapolis Review, Josephine Quarterly, and Annulet. She currently works at Auraria Library in Denver, CO.

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