Shannon RankinUntitled (Simpling) (vellum, thread, paper)

My sister once sang with me
         at the bottom of a driveway that ended
                  in a wooden fence. Later, she
         had a little door hidden

                  in her closet that led to the gesture
of an attic—a space with no floor,
         only ceiling. In this space she learned
                  to yearn for tether. I had previously
         committed to breach, for the rain
in the gutters to wrest free and river
                  through the street to eat the bus stop
benches, to ring the mailboxes in wake.

                  But these urges combined could only
         fray. So we learned to love the leavings,
the shreds of thread on the worn carpet. We use
         them to make letters, to make things we had

                  words for like hope and home but for her
         they meant tether and for me they meant
                  breach and the best we could do was agree
on the harmony, was promise to hold them in our mouths.


John A. Nieves