Cotton is my life, and T-shirts are the clothes the moment wears,
soft stuff of familiar fabric worn into shape
as we make lives from the material.
A favorite may last years, but washing reveals
what becomes of cloth. As the color fades, the fit fits better.
Stitches loosen and seams relax, and the shape of the body
of the facts life learns show through–
the stance of the shoulders, the arch of the neck,
the rounding of the belly
Holes wear through, threads wear out, and the shirt wears well.
It’s the cotton. Tagless, china-white with a grand design,
the strength of the weaving is in the wearing,
and there’s wonder in the way the fabric fits
the warp and weft of weeks,
as days of dirt and sweat work to wear it all away.
Trace the tight weave to the source,
through flat channels in the rusty river of industry,
to the blooming white heart of the material,
and find there what we always find in the beginning, a seed
with the future folded within, as neatly as a new T-shirt.
We change our lives as we change our clothes,
daily, with the seasons, folding, packing,
wearing, tearing some into tatters and rags for other reasons,
and finding flashing stacks of a bright unwrinkled fold we seek
when we shop for T-shirts together.
We wear them in, we wear them out, and the material lasts only
long enough for us to change into something new.