strings attached

January 2007 (age 22)

we had a tangled interaction
some sort of twisted attraction
and like a hemline i was taken in
you stitched a quiltwork straight to my heart
i had to depart

and these strings you stitched
still attach
me to you

i tried my best to
just do the homeylover thing
be free and loose
safe from the noose of love
and concern
but somehow i got snagged in
your yarn

and now there is
nothing but string
intricate weave. floss
between teeth. thing you pull from sweater that’s
holding everything together

without you i unravel

i want to tightrope back to your breezy apartment
where we walk barefoot and stare up at white wooden ceiling
i want to buckle up a harness and zipline back
to your island
cross caribbean seas

can i do
with these strings

i thought i could unlace you over time but this
double knot between us just wont untie

i know.
i shouldn’t be attached to
your fingertips
i am not your string puppet but
i can’t help to think what luck i always get
to be bound to those
who don’t love me
to be foolish enough not to
consider the miles this string extends
the frailty

i wonder
why. why am i tied to you and who made this knot so
tight. can you loosen it. like too-tight shoelaces. i
know we’re in two different places but
let’s just
strum these strings like guitar
like violin
let’s tighten these strings
and make sweet music


“strings attached” is an excerpt from Laundry & Love Notes: a poetic memoir.

By Alicia Zakon

Alicia Zakon is a poet/educator from Berkeley, California. She has worked with over 1,000 students in California public schools and developed her poetry craft as a participant in Youth Speaks, as a student teacher in June Jordan’s Poetry for the People at UC Berkeley, and in poetry courses the University of the West Indies, Barbados. Zakon has performed internationally and has been featured on NPR and Ise Lyfe’s album Spread the Word. She is the author of Laundry & Love Notes: a poetic memoir.