The bindings are not what she thought:
pliable, warm, pulsing with blood,
they are shaped like arms. My arms.
I feel I should tell her, “Run,” want her
to knock her feet against the ground,
push it away inch by solid inch.
I say nothing, instead let her spread
herself, crucifixion style, across me –
I contain her here, all shadow and form,
tie her like a gift inside this tangle
of limbs. What she does not yet
understand is that she is a kind
of sacrifice, she makes me more
whole with every day she does not break
our knot. And now she looks at my arms,
touches the scars dug in from years
of overuse, of holding on when letting go
would have been the safe, easy, good
thing. She tests for strength, probes
with unseasoned fingertips for something
she can hold on to, some secret
good that must be tethered inside me.
I haven’t the heart for confessing I am
full of blackness; I have only
the arms for holding it in.
Rachel Bunting is a born and bred South Jersey girl who lives between the Delaware River and the Pine Barrens. Her poems can be found in Mad Poets Review, US1 Worksheets, Apple Valley Review, Thick With Conviction and Wicked Alice, among other places. She can mostly be described in verbs and nouns: likes sushi, gets acupuncture, writes poems. Her first chapbook, Ripe Again, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.
back to issue 2
take me home