concetta principe / Archive Fever

From Issue 3.50: In(ter)ventions in the Archive (Summer 2023)

The skirt needed mending, said my mentor. Mens rea. Mend me. She wouldn’t. Nor recommend, though I never asked that much. Thus, she came to mind when I could not get up the other day. Recalling how she fomented my skirt and frowned at the safety pin I used for a hem. My mind is bending around the end of cutting silk with bias. Nothing is safe from ridicule, and seam rippers are acts of retrograde. My censor had wanted more lanterns. I tried. I spread my mind flat with lateral thinking. I ran the flame as far as the edge where light breaks in half. A little device I can’t even use to crack an egg was what I used to stitch it up again. I don’t know what to do with lanterns and unused eggs and this thing that stitches things, except set them aside for the recipe of revelation. This holes everything. Magical thinking, mending for machines. I could hear it all snagging adjectives on her tough wormy tongue. Handle the silk, she said. Feel what I mean. Taste of smoke through the mind of hind’s night, I said in my mind. The skirt is done, toasted, stale by now. Fodder for the silk light as fire. I can feel the French seam I did, smooth as cauterized skin. No gaping holes, not bad at all. It’s just that it feels so short now so that my slip is showing. Not short enough, she says in my mind. Well, fine, watch my lantern crack, yoking the rug to her light. Did you feel that?

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