The cloth square, hung on metal arms flung wide,
like scarecrows along the Caspian Sea
or hostages waiting for body search,
becomes something to wear: an abba coat
from a holy Iranian. Inside

this envelope, read Vitruvian Man,
his stories of desert trains of camels,
their baby-hair woven for swaddling bands,
or shrouds, stitched narrow strips, horizontal
passages moonlight-gilded through the black.

And, alongside, the second square, so-red
linen gauze, almost one-piece silhouette
fashion interpretation by Shirin models
are draped to show curves on catwalk
spotlit marches, the ‘boxy layered look’.

Here are two coats, then here is a woman
casting lots in the Brighton Museum,
fastening hooks/eyes of memory who,
on her knees, bleeding, reaches for the edge,
touches the hem, draws out a beginning.

Inspired by black Iranian abba coat, 20th century, and red abba coat by Shirin Guild

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