This method where the design appears where the cloth resists--
for her an exercise of will: she chooses
the fabric, the dye, the measure she will tie
with a string, sectioning access, resistance.
She bends over her tub of violet dye-bath and rolls the blanket in.
Long rolled white load the bath purples with ease,
it has an end that keeps resurfacing, light,
that will not stay down. She pushes it
down, the purple up to her elbows,
presses it down for the color to work evenly into
like the affliction of nitrogen into, narcosis,
Daphne sunk with the weight of Peneus' idea of rescue,
air hardening like mud in her chest.
She lifts the purple blanket out to rinse and squeeze it,
squeezing it with a strength not unlike decision
until the water runs clear, how so similar, she thinks,
to telling ready chicken from the still-raw,
clear fluid oozing out of the cut meat and
cuts the string carefully, uncoiling
and turning the blanket out
and there it is, white ring. No grand design,
just pale eclipse at the center of the purple blanket.
There it is. Design that's how and where she wants it.
She will hang the blanket outside
to dry and it will shrink
it will lighten to washed-out plum, it will be perceivable.