Our Own by Rachel Abramowitz

My nightgown is made of almost paper
I wish I could have used the shovel more gracefully
because now the nightgown is covered in dirt
and I will have to rip it off me like a ribbon ripping
when it gives in to the ripping
because it is so much work to hang together
in neat rows as a fabric
I know because I have lived my life as a square of muslin
no special color or pattern
a basic technology
an expected weight
not expensive like a piece of real purple paper
or the kind of rubber that really comes from trees
I used to be a rubber tree but now I am a night cat
I used to be a leaf of mint
but now I am gravel
I should go back and turn my hand over
my wrist is an invention
I could fill holes in the ground all day
until it was dark and the grass began
Rachel Abramowitz’s poems and reviews have appeared in Crazyhorse, Oxonian Review, POOL, jubilat, Sprung Formal, Colorado Review, YEW, Painted Bride Quarterly, and others. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of Oxford, and teaches at Barnard College in New York.