Stitch by Mary Maroste In my dreams, it is always quiet— I am covered in toothpaste & lavender oil. There is a scratch inside of my nose, small caterpillars stitched into my palms with blue yarn. ** Buried in a leaf pile filled with crickets, we crocheted cans of soda together & decided the last meal we ever ate would be served on a red tray with small pockets. My brother told me I needed to stop dipping my fingers in boiling water & the holes in my ears needed to heal. ** 4 or 5 years ago, I lost a wooden dog named after my father & because both of his eyes fell out, I drenched myself in the scent of cedar & pepper for weeks. ** After dinner, burns on the roof of my mouth bubble, turn white— my bones become roots, become the things I’ve let slip through my fingers, & I count my ribs.