A journal of narrative writing.
Corrine’s Rodeo Clothes

Listen to “Corrine’s Rodeo Clothes”
read by Alexandra Teague

Where did the body end with legs like these—leather fringed, sequined, double- stitched by lights? That glitter galloped upside-down around the ring; balanced on a bronco’s back; all of it—satin and suede, the persuasion of whips—began in my mother’s hands. Out of dust- thin paper, she cut every pattern for will, every pattern for strength, for show- stopping dares. Sewed buttons pearled like revolvers down Corrine’s small breasts. In her handmade smocks— flowered or flounced—flensed of all power but this, my mother settled her skin: paid seamstress with her needles and thread; her cotton and scraps where I played in a dream of gold netting and zippers with nothing to close. How I wanted a body like that: bright teeth and no tearable skin. How I wanted to be not maker, but made— all suspended belief, all rough- riding diva with spurs and no reason to kneel like a cushion for a pin by those cowboy boots, to measure, with soft fingers and care, the hem.