Lewis Carter is in the final year of his combined honours degree in English Language and Literature.

I twitch when I think

of the stitched-on things:

those fiddly

five-pence-sized fastenings

that line formal fashion;

the horrors which hold

shirts tight to chests

in pinned discipline.



The word itself

isn’t a round enough sound

enough term for the shape.


Think a fumble of tired fingers

trying to pry fabric apart

while it shrinks and constricts;


hands sweating and pecking

at slippery circular grips;


sharp breaths as thread

tightens and seals;


leaving the lips