Sunday, December 22, 2013


We run side by side, bonded and twisted to form a single assembly.

I couldn't catch up with you that day you took me to the lake with your friend's dog. You said he needed exercise. The dog or the friend? I asked, charmed with myself. You laughed in a distracted way and instead of answering you parked the truck. We got out and started throwing sticks. You lifted me up over a swampy part. Mud doesn't scare me, I said. But alligators might, you replied. You and the retriever ran together while I sat and watched with spotless shoes.

We laid clockwise alone. We laid anti-clockwise together. We needed both to produce a strong line. We needed the line to act as an anchor. These ships are apt to sink.

It started out as a cough. You caught me covering it up with my sleeve and said I was wrong. It's all in the shoulder, you said. You cough into your shoulder, you said twice. I smiled like I've been taught, but I disagreed. The cough probably isn't contagious. Plus, what I've got would be rejected. A fight would break out before another body accepts what I've got. I've got this under control, I smiled and coughed and said in an unintentional accent. When I get nervous I can't pronounce my Rs. You rolled your eyes. I swallowed my words.

We use our strength to lift, haul, tow, and to sometimes convey force through tension.

You kept expecting more joints to crack in your hand. I can't walk down the hallway without looking around at anything but your eyes. If you catch me staring at you it's only because the walls have already caved in.

We build up the potential for fire. We are a source of fuel. We insulate to protect.

Your jacket catches on to the nail that once held that funny picture of the dog. We took it down because the dog died and it was just too sad to see it anytime we took out the trash. Luckily your jacket didn't rip, but it did add one more thing to the growing list of things to do. Hammer in nail. Take out trash. Two things. We had just two things to do and there was nothing we could do but keep walking out the door. Don't forget to lock it. Three things.

We are easily cut during excavations. We are found on side roads. Being exposed is impractical and dangerous. We are buried.

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