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A magazine of poetry and related arts straight from L.A.






Sandra Cutuli



Photo: Tom Michalik


Under museum glass and lights,
the bone needle lay,
burnished and curved by use,
its one open eye
trailing an ancient invisible thread,
its design perfect
from the beginning.


In the age of castles, knights, and serfs,
needles and pins,
like animals, tables, pots,
were listed in wills.
Cases made of silk or silver
worn at women’s waists,
kept them ready, safe.

Even now, a woman favors
a particular needle,
a needle that has bent
to her fingers,
that has stitched quilts,
sewn buttons, patched tears.
Sometimes a beloved needle
breaks, sometimes
the woman cries.


I have held a needle, felt
its familiar shape.
I have stitched, joined patches,
pricked myself, and bled,
kept going as the stitches lined up
like text on a page, kept
going as the thread grew

And I have closed one eye
to better see the needle’s, coaxed
a thin thread through,
taken up my work again.



Sandra Cutuli was born and grew up in Long Beach, California. She graduated from Immaculate Heart College and earned her MLS from UCLA. She is a children’s librarian who lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in Open Windows: Selections from the Winners of Poetry in the Windows, 1995–2003 (Arroyo Arts Collective, 2005) and in Matchbook (Red Wind Books, 1999).

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Speechless Spring 2011
Copyright © 2011 Published by
Tebot Bach