There is only so much you can learn
by stripping a person down to their naked soul
to see what really hides within flesh and bones.
Try taking the person out of the clothes for a change,
let the folds and creases tell stories of tears and laughter
long lost in their wrinkles.
You may think I judge a book by its cover,
but in a world where stories get lost in the cracks and crevices of the bindings
of a book that has seen more generations than reprints,
ignorance is a privilege you should be denied.
Which is why, I judge a cover by the book it wraps its arms around,
ready to hug a little tighter when the pages begin to bleed.
Our clothes, you see, hide hugs in their sleeves the same way,
waiting to clench around you like armour the day you are not ready for the world.
I have worked with clothes long enough
to be able to hear them perfectly as they whisper stories to me.
These jeans are my favourite,
they are as stubborn as the boy they belong to,
the same colour as his eyes.
But these jeans are growing weak at the seams;
the boy’s dreams are growing too big for his body.
And some days, I want to send him warning signals hidden in back pockets,
so that he knows he’s going to need new armour.
This world is brutal,
you cannot walk out in aspirations hidden behind tattered clothing,
like a new book with an ill fitting cover,
and be expected anywhere outside the secondhand pile,
which is not to say you will only be judged by the cover,
but rather that it takes too long for people to understand what the cover has been through
in attempts to protect the stories that exist in the space that lies between two words.