Zara Raab

Tangle of laces, tangle of fingers & toes,
your first kiss, your first pair of shoes,
the sequence is crucial, you’re eager,
running, running barefoot through the fields.

Tangle of laces & thumbs, octopus arms
sorted out, one tentacle embracing
another, bringing it under, hands
& fingers & laces intertwining.

Your laces must be tightened on your shoes,
one strand looped, & then the index aimed
to pin the bow, hard, as you would a moth.
No running! Not barefoot through the fields.

Pressure, pressure, the laces like locks
of hair combed out, one strand thrown over
and knotted tight, repeated to double.
Mangle of tongues & whispering voices.

Tangle of grasses, strangle of thumbs.
Start again, setting one over the other,
bring it under, don’t hurry the first, first.
No running! No feet bare in the fields.

Tangle of laces & grasses & voices,
Skipping the kisses, missing the faces.
Another loop, & the rabbit is hanged,
tangle of laces, of fingers & toes,
barefoot, barefoot, running through the fields.

“Ties That Bind” appeared in the 2012 edition of the Labletter.

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