I praise you, Rope, although you seem too plain.
You were swaying grasses sunlight grew
From Earth, of little worth, but spun to thread
And woven cunningly into a skein
You became most marvelous. You knew
Ares with the goddess in her bed,
And held Odysseus, a man in pain
Only from temptation, while his crew
Tightened you like memory. If I said
Boundless, I would need you to explain,
Who are so much longer than we knew
And by whose help the Minotaur is dead.
Help her, Rope, this woman whose complaint
Is freedom. Loop her breasts and twine each wrist.
Longing for your touch, she has undressed
And daubed her eager aureoles with paint.
Helplessness is what her arms have missed,
And your embrace is always strongest, best
Able to release her deep restraint.
She likes to be blindfolded when kissed,
Penetrated, ordered, put to test.
From your fingers she can almost faint
With pleasure. Although she cannot resist
You, she has rejected all the rest.
Drawn between us and the thing we crave,
When you feel our pull, you let each strand
Slip, then tighten down your length, to make
Strength from weakness. Every inch you gave
Stiffened you. We do not understand
Distance, but it must be for our sake
That you lower caskets to the grave
Slowly, paying out so that they land
Gently and their contents never wake.
You who toll the bell and turn the ox, who save
Climbers and haul boats onto the sand,
You cannot, and you must not, ever break.