I met a girl who was in the business of eating
clothes. She said she was tired of wearing them,
and the talk of other girls wearing them or not
wearing them. It sounded like a market bound to
succeed in our socioculturalenvironmentalpolitical
landscape and so I asked her, how do you do it. Oh,
it’s simple, she said. You rip this seam here. Just
pull the pieces apart like that. You can use kitchen
scissors if you like, anything at all. Loose threads
add texture, so don’t worry about removing them.
And then, she said, you just put it in your mouth,
and you chew.
I joined her for dinner that night. She worked her
way through two pairs of ripped jeans and a lacy
bra. I ate the pair of shorts I’d worn when I was
eleven and Joshua Gordan had grabbed me by
the ass. The denim stuck in my throat like it had
teeth of its own. Does this get easier, I asked her.
Oh no, she said, not at all. So why do you do it, I
said. Well, a girl’s got to process this shit somehow,
she told me. Besides, I take “you are what you eat”
very seriously—one day I’m sure whoiam will
match whattheysee. She smiled: there were bright
blue threads in her teeth. I shoved another length
of fabric into my mouth. And another. And another.
And another. It’s about bloody time they made a
banquet fit for a queen, I said, and brandished a
metal button in the air. Stuff this in the eye of the
Natasha Dust is a student at the University of Sydney, where she is majoring in English and Physics. She has been writing poetry since she was nine years old, and hopes to publish a collection in the future.