Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ties That Bind

two women talk and tie colored strings    knotting     unknotting the ends
bowline loop     short-end sheet bend     for unexpected complications
how to connect     one thin piece    to another secure     yet easy to undo knot?

like skilled fingers     knitting learned movements     answers
are known yet unspoken things     which is why
winding conversation is familar to me

they speak of binds     of family and mixed blood thick    
violent as ocean     continental divide     ancestral drift
and the silence
                                    one woman says
I'm tired of living all the hard stories

her past lies as slithering pieces     cut
and fallen     or hanging still from her wrists

she quits the task making frayed parts fit

two women
my friend and my lover let silence hover     like bad memories thought discarded
until the tug and pull of remembering slips     tighter     around their necks
how to slip free from this bind     is as simple as swapping     strings for cigarettes
letting smoke curl     from their fingertips

they speak a language    of long pauses     and fingered objects

there are no secrets here

like the cut and burn of rough rope     the tender tear
is enough      and as much             as a woman's hand bound
to my thigh and another     to my breast and the weight of her touch
feels   like healing

in my disbelief     I have told tangled lies about my past
futile convolutions to obscure who     I am     and who
I might become

truth unwinds as threads of other women's survival     and my own

throw me a rope

I will bind my body to your corded flesh
press my lips to your smothered breath
untie my past
ungag my tongue
I will speak our names

we can live
unbounded and let
loose voices
as secure faith
unwanted ties

©Ami Mattison

Flickr photo courtesy of adam *b

1 comment:

  1. I love that last verse of section ii.

    I like the way the poem ends, but wonder if that's really possible? I have more questions than answers, on that.