Sport 35: Winter 2007
Buying a corset with my mother
Here is the shop that still stocks it.
Out slides the drawer and inside is revealed
like a half-body mask, the corset
my mother favours. Scooped in with
satin seams filled with whalebone, a line
of forbidding hooks and eyes, soft cups
for breasts and, below, four dangling suspenders.
Why should she like it? Why will she feel so happy
for the rest of the day, discovering it. Asking
for two of the suits of armour to be packed
in a flat box, then plain brown paper and string.
'Coffee?' she says. 'And cake.' But won't it hurt
I want to say to squeeze coffee and cake behind
that sequence of fastenings? Shouldn't we
start dieting instantly? (I am to be supported by air
and wear light garments.) But we sit eating
butterfly cakes and looking out at the street
where the bodies pass, wondering by what
will or machinery they hold themselves together.