soft cleanse

By Anna Foster, April 2, 2020

Read time: 1 Min

soft cleanse Image

Lovers share

Half articulated dreams, single beds, halves of pizza swapped and dropped into the other box. And clothes. Sloppy sweaters that hang loose on limbs with soft, complete confidence. When Sunday mornings stretch out silky like dough, so do couples with low maintenance, no-frills contentment. Jersey fabric is kissed by toothpaste, each tear or hole not a defect but a detail that makes the piece yours. Sweaters are comfort, acceptance and love materialised.

But if the love fades, what? That same jumper soothes, but as a comfort blanket, separate. When you part ways, maybe the sweater doesn’t make it into the ‘return to sender’ package with the undies, the work shirt and the book borrowed from their mum.

At first, it’s exiled. Stuffed away, shut up, blocked off. Emotion is woven into the fabric with their particular smell. The cotton isn’t soft enough to brush away tears. But then you put it through the wash. You pull it over your head. Briefly, darkness, then light.

Now it’s a souvenir of sorts, the unraveling threads a well-worn love letter. You’re not hardened by your past. With this vestige of softness, you go easy.

Eventually, someone else plucks the sweater out. They shrug it over their head and head out. You snuggle closer and wait to see what’s in store.

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