Thread Remedy

Listen, girl: take this thread

and these beads

and your hurt

and show me the flood

of it. Bend

your head toward the heat


of firelight, toward heated

memory, till the thread

goes damp in your hands. Bend

your fingers to pluck up the beads

that will color the flood

of your hurt.


Then make the fabric hurt

to touch. Feed the heat

of your pain into a flood

of thread

and beads.

Make me bend.


Did you know you can bend

your pain? That your hurt

could make another forehead bead

with sweat? Do you know how much heat

can burn from thread?

Show me the flood


overtaking you. Flood

this fabric with your story, bend

in the thread

of his lies, sew in the hurt

he gifted you, until its heat

splits seams, sparks beads

into starlight. Bead

in your blood, the flood

of sudden heat,

of neck-bending,

girl-breaking hurt.



everything into this shirt: his heat, your skin, each bead

of sweat, each aching thread, then fold the flood

into a pretty box, bend ribbons to bows. I’ll return your hurt.



Tara Campbell ( is a writer, teacher, Kimbilio Fellow, fiction co-editor at Barrelhouse, and graduate of American University’s MFA in Creative Writing. She teaches creative writing at venues such as American University, Johns Hopkins University, Clarion West, The Writer’s Center, Hugo House, and the National Gallery of Art. Her sixth book, City of Dancing Gargoyles, is forthcoming from Santa Fe Writers Project (SFWP) in Fall 2024.

Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash

Recommended Posts