Apple Core, Hourglass

These cords keep her from splitting,
wound round and round,
over breast and under breast
and back and forth across
belly flesh and lumbar curve,
settled down over hip swells,
pelvic bone.

Fibers, fibers,
crosshatch and diamond braid,
a texture for every inch of pale flesh:
weight of the knot here,
lark’s head, wound back upon itself.

There is newfound strength
in corseting and constraint:
apple core, hourglass,
trunk of the oak tree, wheat sheaf,
bound under the cleanest sun.
Even concaved, she is radiant.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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