by Tara Agtarap

Published in Issue No. 65 ~ October, 2002

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.

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Tara Agtarap had this to say:

Not everyone can say that their first name is also in their last name without having to rearrange any letters (TARA AGTARAP). Writing has never been spontaneous or natural for me - it's work - but work that allows me to create, vent, desribe, satirize, and touch."