The Rope (Portrait #3)



The snow is blamed, it always is, as mad as you get at it, as mad as it makes me. But, I know, like you do, now, it’s always the rope. The others don’t realize the rope’s properties, as a living thing. They aren’t mad, just frightened. They see me smile and relax. Fear rises then slips from them as I let go of you. Your weight is the weight of all of them, tethered together. Their trust is a grasp and mistakes made within a clasp.

I worry about you. We came this far. I have control and why not? I can’t hold on, or, should I say, I won’t. I mean, These rocks are our lives now, cold, rough. Can’t you see our lives through the others? As if their skeletons were glass and their skin invisible. If you could, you would see my reasoning. I have so much warmth for you, that’s why I let go. Surely, you understand. I tried to tell you before, when I said, “In the middle, I straddle both sides, I’m unsure of the footing.” It’s an attempt at balance. Slipping, You wouldn’t let me, I’m slipping, why would you let me? Let go. 

They teach you the ways of balance and trust, even as you fall. Belief steers people higher upon the mountains, digging caves, stashing bones, earning interest. You, like them, become dependent upon the grasp. Even in these last seconds, I would come with you, down to the foothills Play with you in the rain, rub softness into your heart, wander in a world without holding onto to it tightly, let the water run through our hands, swallow life in one motion, not to nibble it down into to pieces until bones are exposed. My hand burns as the rope slips, what did you expect? I cut the cord. I have to.

It makes me. It speaks to me. The rope is sound, a happy voice, playing games. Your voice, so weak now. I hear two voices. I get confused. Is it them? They can’t fool me. It’s the rope. It will always be the rope, my friend. They are only echoes. I’ve been here so many times and heard. Different kinds of voices, clashing rhythms, tightened microtones, struggling with the climb. I’m sorry. You don’t believe me. Yes, you are right. I can teach them about the snow How tracks get caught in them. How tracks disappear when lingering, clouds scraping precipitation, higher upon perception. But, The rope must speak in its own tongue. I can’t ask you. I can only understand you.





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