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or154 150 150 John Sandbach

Virgo 4. A woman boiling clothes in a cauldron with shavings of lye soap.

She has a closet so big she’s never seen all of it, and she’s afraid to wander in it too far away from the door for fear of never finding her way out again.

Yesterday in some dark cranny there she found some old clothes from way back, stuff she could barely remember ever wearing, soiled with all sorts of stories and passions and other stains from the dirty work of living, some lifetime she forgot all about, but the grimy old clothes reminded her. So she pulled them out and now she’s cooking them up in the back yard, poking them with a stick and watching them bubble.

The clothes, her clothes, all of them, are her skins, and she’s tried on lots of them. So when she boils the clothes she gets that same good feeling she does when she scrubs herself, and even though all the living she’s done has worn her thin in places, the worn spots just let that much more light through.

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