I am a button of bone – hewn from the tibia of a dead donkey, sanded smooth between the thumb and index finger of a woman the age of time. After smoothing me she bore me through with an awl slivered from an anvil of desire. The anchor was imperative. As far as I can gather the woman lived in a world of wind, a turning world – going, spinning unhitched to solitude or contemplation. When she began her threading I steamed hot with the piercing, yet curious about the garment to which I would be married. Would it be a bustled affair, pride-starched and florid? Would it be something hospitable and pattern-free and display my subtle curves?
The garment surprised us both. She took the skin of a dead jack ass, burnished its hide, soaked it in a brine of salted honey, rolled it smooth with almond hulls. Then she ironed it with stones warmed by cedar bark flames.
When I first felt the touch of that old jack ass, I thought, Dear Jesus, what wonders come from your hand. Look how you’ve converted that old beast. And then my throat caught in surprise by the reminder of that old dry bone from which I impossibly hailed.