My first article of clothing was probably a pink onesie. Plastic snaps caught between my legs, and cheap cotton folded over like shoulder pads and rested beside my creased neck. Bent like elbows, my legs floated in the air. There was a vase of flowers on the arm of the hospital table. My mom leaned over me and pulled at my arms and legs. They were waiting for visitors. The room was quiet.
There were lots of dresses over the years. The wrong side of the smocking pulled across me and scratched. My chest swelled in the tight casing, trails of brown ants following one another to soft, sandy hills. My thin hair slipped from gold barrettes braided with long pink and white ribbons. White anklets folded over black patent leather maryjanes, the shine rubbed from the toes. My father punched holes in the ankle straps when they were too big to fit around my small ankles. The frayed leather scratched tiny explosions into the knobs on my ankles and made them itch. I fussed with them throughout the day, pulling the smocking tight across my chest when I bent over to scratch under the straps. When I took off my socks at night, there were little red starbursts on my ankles where the straps tugged.
The wrong side of the smocking pulled and scratched, trails of brown ants. My hair slipped from gold barrettes, and the shine was rubbed from the toes of my maryjanes. My father punched holes in the ankle straps. The frayed leather scratched explosions into my ankles and made them itch. I fussed with the straps, pulling the smocking tight. At night, there were little red starbursts where the straps tugged.