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III. hatchet knot

by Eli Skipp


when you look up, it's easy to notice that the beetles are dying. her
lips are stained and she tells you, they kill seventy thousand to make
a pound of dye, she says there are beetles in your applesauce, and
you murmur halfheartedly, "red sky in morn --"

without warning you become aware that the rope must be loosened,
that it cannot be loosened. that in order to draw slack one must first
draw frustrated and cut the rope in two and your father says

"remember the hatchet knot?" most certainly. the hatchet knot reeks
improper: a square knot (an eight knot) looped oppositely results
in the knot that cannot be untied.

and all around the beetles you would save and wish upon are dying,
legs unbarbed from the wrinkles of your fingerprints and curled inwards
and crushed and one cannot loosen the line. one cannot draw slack
unflailing and the sail-billows buffet the fat of your cheeks and you tell
her that yes --

the beetles are dying, the jib cannot be stayed, and we have run aground.

12/09/2007

Author's Note: please, criticism?

Posted on 12/09/2007
Copyright © 2019 Eli Skipp

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