Her jeans come out of the tired, rusty machine
clean, wet, and wrinkled.
They’ll eventually dry into that faded and worn
wash she loves
yet a gnawing, crusted spot still remains deep
in its cotton fibers
no matter how much she pours of the magic potion
that promises to heal.
It’s a struggle to put them on like this,
one stiff leg at a time,
pulling them up to an aching waist,
and buttoning each button until she pushes
through the last one
breathing in to feel the rough
denim shape of her wasted curves.
Together, they face the stares
of hope and disappointment, each momentary
glance slicing her vanity.
bloating the belief that she will never
be the right fit, the right height,
the right kind.