Valediction: Demanding Remorse

by Kevin Cutrer

Our lives are bound the way this braided lace
devoutly crosses itself to hold a shoe
tight to the foot, faithfully in place.

Stretch it between your hands—half me, half you—
and witness how we form a happy knot
of our loose ends: we pull ourselves into

a loop-the-loop to feel it growing taut,
our sole enjoyment being two and one.
But tug away your half, and what we’ve got

is just a string that sees itself undone
and frayed by every time it’s pulled apart,
and so we’ll be as long as you are gone.

I worry I’ll fall to pieces, come apart,
my unraveled life in pieces, come apart.