“Bound” by Julian Mendez Perea

Julian Mendez Perea




After reading a book about
Houdini, he talked his neighbors
into binding him hand & foot, & smiled
as they walked off. Not one waited
for a miracle. Twist your wrists,
he told himself, twist like fate,
make the rope burn. Suck the air
out of the air, exhale, envision
yourself outside yourself, do the swami
dance, disappear, you faker, travel
the astral pastoral, unhinge, dislocate
your shoulder, your spine, your heart rate.
He struggled not to struggle, but after
an hour, he stopped pretending,
& called out every name in the book.
He summoned more than a few demons,
pled to the hempen god of restraints,
squealed like a legion of swine,
to no avail. He told himself, enough
flirting with martyrdom, no more trysts
with straitjacket succubae, no tux,
no top hat, no tails. There is no escaping
the body, its limited capacity for joy,
its sinews, its sins, its sensations. Even after
this shamed confession, no sequined
assistant came by to untie him.