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II. sheet-bend

by Eli Skipp

my father tells me stories about swimming in the frothing ocean to tie these lines
together. he says to me, he says, "properly tied, it will never undo."

this is how one would assume us, this boy and i; two ends inextricably looped and
crossed -- looped and crossed, and then, poorly tied, even these, the connecting
knots, will come undone. however, if woven correctly, one could pull and pull and
pull again and find them all the tighter for the stress.

he says, off the end of this barge, in the frothing ocean, somehow, in the dark, he
managed to link the great ropes together.

but we have always been loosely connected, this boy and i. i think he watches the
final millimeters slip and does nothing to adjust, just, kisses me lackadaisically
and rolls a third, fourth, fifth cigarette, and tells me how he's never been sailing.
he'll point out great, renewed brigantines on the lake, dipping and bowing for
forgiveness from their forefathers and say he's never been sailing. and i'll try to
think of an adequate response besides, "i suppose you've never been
the ocean, and i've never really been the stalemated, landlocked ground,"

if this knot unties i will blame myself for its erosion; i can do nothing but eat
away, eat away, until we both, perhaps, split and spill over into the sea.


Posted on 09/26/2007
Copyright © 2019 Eli Skipp

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Coleman Demiurge on 09/27/07 at 05:36 AM

Knots are a perfect symbol for relationships (a noose is quite fitting for all of mine in fact), you are wise in your ways, and too talented to boot... Great poem; very well done. ;)

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 09/29/07 at 11:34 AM

I love being inside your poetry, your storys that smooth through my mind likened to one of the thousand Arabian Nights tales. Somehow, I always relate with your writing, Eli. Where you carry people is to a completely other kilter, neither off nor on, just wanting to be beside it. Your delivery and conversational style in this is inclusive and brilliantly interesting.

Posted by Frank Lee on 02/09/08 at 01:54 AM


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