The Chase

How to work a running stitch.

What kind of poet would I be if I couldn’t fix a seam? You asked, incredulous, adding, you know, it’s not rocket science. When the language got too tight around our necks you said Look and undid the top buttons, like There and How hard was that? and it was obvious we had a long way to go.

I mean to live, you said, and invited us to join you, running––your kites on laundry lines, your great river piping underground, leaking secrets from the dripping faucets of our fourth-floor walk-up. Your hero at the mop, finishing a shift while the oracle she’s come to visit goes fishing for change in her apron. 

The legs of our love tended to falter. Fatigued, we wondered how you kept yours onward. Once, ascending a hill, you reminded, don’t look upYou can follow the street as well as the sky, and as we looked for your next words you called back, not even at me, striding ahead. Eventually, we learned to follow the backs of your legs and fall into a rocking trance. The grates of sewers punctuating our periphery, we found our breaths in time with the river below us, and as the miles went on, stitched our single body back to some subterranean source.


Inspired by Anne Winters, especially Night Wash.