sheets in a thunderstorm,
clipped to the line forgotten.
And later, tumbling around the hot dark,
static stars wheeling from the fibers.
Sometimes I picture it raw still on the stem,
plucked and pressed to a bleeding cheek,
seeds and all.
As if healing were so simple.
The fields quiver with boll weevils whose tiny teeth tear their own insulation,
feeding like children in a fairytale on their one chance for shelter,
seeing it disappear—melt—from soft flossy whirls of white into sugary grit.
Someone told me cotton scents are completely artificial,
that real cotton smells like sweat, or like something burning.
And now I see that the fields are on fire,
that maybe they were always on fire,
and I’ve been standing here, at the edge of an oily ocean burning.