it is not particularly pliant when she twists
and turns it so precisely, but it winds itself
obediently in just the ways her hands ask,
easy enough to work with both eyes closed

part of the time she supposes she tightens
it out of habit, some systematic repetition
of rewinding and undoing that might bind
together the pieces of her she feels unraveling

but there are the times when her seafaring irises
toss with too strong of waves, and she stills her
quivering fingertips by weaving together the same
tiny strand a hundred times, braiding herself an
imaginary net in case she should need to catch any
of the salty raindrops she cannot afford to let fall

the rope is rough and coarse against her
callousing fingers, but still she ties her knots