by on Apr 1, 2014 in Poetry | 0 comments

each morning she awoke as a cog
within a vast machine
around her relentless clicks
like a thousand flurried crickets

she closed her eyes and knew
the length of each stitch
exactly when to pivot the cloth
the perfect rhythm of foot on pedal

she measured each day by shirts
by how the white pile grew
the wooden seat cupped her hips
like a tree growing around a stone

it only made sense when they grafted needles
to her fingertips
when her shoes melded to the pedal
when her lips craved the taste of oil
instead of thinned coffee
when her unneeded eyes were plucked out
preserved in a tin beneath her bed
and her fingers and feet never lost rhythm

More from Beth Cato:

image004Beth Cato’s debut steampunk novel The Clockwork Dagger will be released by HarperCollins Voyager in September 2014. She’s originally from Hanford, California, but now resides in Arizona with her husband and son. Her short fiction, poetry, and tasty cookie recipes can be found at



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