Exchange of Offerings

Your fingers, deft, slipping rope into knots,
And my body a slender reed, or an instrument,
Or a silhouette upon which you design
Your pattern. “Don’t distract me,” you caution,
“By running your hands through my hair
Now that I’ve unbound them.” I obey
Because you don’t expect me to. Your bowed head
Tempts me with its thick, dark silk. My hands,
As if still tied, remain still. Uplifted, your eyes smiling
And dangerous. “You’ve been so good,” you murmur,
And I acquiesce with a meek tone. “I only obeyed
Your command.” But disobeyed your desire.
Understanding this, you laugh. A knot
Tightens. My breath, sharp, like pain
Except that I feel warm. It’s like that dream
With the violets that whispered their way
To the edge of the cliff, and a barefoot wild girl
Who may have had wings, grappling with the wind
And the dark promise glittering on the horizon,
Stars & distant lights, sucking in the air
Before jumping. It’s like that dream
When you weave me into patterns
This way, ropes and words and silences
That crackle with their own language.
A day and a dream later,
I have not stopped interpreting
What is said between words,
In the space that separates two bodies,
In the turning of my head away from you
Or your hand on my arm drawing me back.
The rope is coiled on my dresser,
And dangerous.


© 2007

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