Metamorphosis of an old shirt

Buried beneath years of plaid, taller than most piles of ordinary leaves,

As well as a spirited amount of dust,

Bordering on the  cosmic…

Bordering on the rhetoric…

                Tucked into a dresser





Housing everything from socks to shoelaces and pocket watches

To batteries that had long ago run out of everything.

Charging virtually nothing to these tactile tenants.

All in all-

Pretty much a shipwreck

Pretty much a shipwreck

Minus only some of the necessary antiquities…

 The shirt was always there,  inadvertently buried next to  crumbling statues and  marble columns,

A steady tenant;

Even if it hadn’t been worn in a millennia or two.

The shirt even without someone wearing it was                         still able bodied.

Fit for so much  more than some old dancing skeleton…

Even if the moths had already come and gone.

                                                                    Even if the months had already come and gone.

                Like most stories;

            This one was still able bodied,

Sea legs and all.

This shirt started out neat;

Pressed and organized with other shirts cut from similar cloths.

Arranged in a similar fashion to that of the department store from which it came.

The shirt stood in good favor with the earth and all the other planets and stars,

                                                                                … and their inhabitants as well.

The shirt stood in good favor while traveling

Through epic  deluges with Gilgamesh and

Laying in barren fields under the guise of crop-circles, listening  intently to locusts who are all but tuned into their own frequency.

But like most knots;

Like most plagues;

Like most legends;

Like most cords on most telephones;

The shirt somehow became a tangled mess, sleeves crossed, (fingers, too)  and the edges frayed.

Suffocating under leagues of denim and scores of corduroy.

 A snake consuming its own tail.

                                The tireless, non-venomous

Patchwork serpent  freed one of its tangled sleeves and

Like a rising undead, or an exasperated explorer lost among thickets and mangroves

(With nothing left but a dull machete and a faded map)

The exasperated shirt reached out for something.

Searching for any semblance of light or life;

And instead only briefly  grabbing  a hold of the coattails of a fleeting mirage,

Before even those slipped away to some other desert.

To some other silver screen.

It would be quite some time before the shirt would be officially  worn again.

The seasons and  their various  fashions came together and rolled away slowly, like a snowball,

Not downhill at first, but  gradually gaining speed.

As it picks up splintering   hockey sticks and broken drums and wax paper from

All the local meat markets.

And ice skating rinks.

All of which had been

Left for dead by members of the team and the band.

And the butchers, too.

(They did remember to take their lettermen jackets and cleavers with them after the big game, however)

The shirt would never see a banquet hall or a ballroom.

                Or a battlefield or even an art gallery.

But these were  never the intended outcomes for this particular shirt.

To be fired from a cannon like some shrapnel.

To dance the night away in a room full of windows.

This shirt was destined to be worn while walking towards the sunset, on some sandy beach

…Three pens tucked neatly into the front pocket.

For which  to scribble on what exactly?


The wings of crashed model airplanes?

This shirt was meant to be worn walking barefoot on asphalt,

While a stiff summer breeze blows, forcing the already  melting ice cream to drip back onto the shirt.

And provide texture,

(And context)

Before the final destination has even been reached.

Some noticeable  holes chewed by hungry insects

(Created either during storage or exploration.)

Do not effect the integrity of this shirt, instead they become windows,

Or eyes.

Or oil spills.

Some loose threads hang down like decaying vines or a graying beard,

They are more akin to rope ladders though,

Lowered down by the  first responders sent to  pick up any refugees that may have otherwise been left behind.

The eventual stains left by stick deodorant and lack thereof

Provide  all the  necessary stripes,

All the necessary streaks,

All the necessary combustion.

These attributes give the shirt an uncanny ability to look

For a moment,

Like so many things.

 Like a jungle cat.

Or a billboard, in the process of being painted.

Or a crashed model airplane, with missing wings.




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