A Cento poem from “The Husband Stitch” in
Carmen Maria Machado’s In Her Body and Other Parties
I am her ribbon, the one she keeps around her long swan like neck of her body and the envy of the other luscious parts. I come in red, her favorite color, I never stray from her collar line, even when her husband's hands become so frisky trying to loosen my every strap, he tries to untie me when he smoothly whispers how much he loves her face, using words like perfection and model, but she always slaps him away. He refuses to accept, she and I are united forever, his wife is more faithful to me than she is loyal to his two-minute climaxes. I love feeling attached to her gullet, I am her snoring softly counting sheep while fantasy dreaming, swallowing the creamiest shakes even when she has a cold, every phlegm that flies out of her throat I can feel it pulse through me. Speaking of chills, then one night, I could tell something was feeling rotten as her husband enticed her to play a kinky game. He wanted to tie her up, I worried about his intentions, still I remained convinced he would leave his dirty hands off me, but then, I felt his fingers loosen me from her neck, this is when he carried me from their bed, I felt the scissors. Before the first cut, we both turned hearing something round cranium-like fall on the floor, this is when I felt each snip, off with her head. Why did he have to be so vain? I was the auricular nerve that held her up. As I lay shattered barely alive, I watched him pathetically trying to put his wife back together, like a doll in pieces, she no longer was the most perfect face, the one he longed to keep mantled his trophy wife now becomes a torso, blood rushing out of her thyroid glands, no longer attached, he never wanted to see that I was the bow on his gift that kept her trachea bonded. He should have never been fixated on severing my hold. What happened to the vows? Now he must hold on this body without his favorite part.