In ambit and catenary

In ambit and catenary,

He limits her still.

She knows as she walks the perimeter,

Each book,

Each pen,

A girder.

Each fabric thread,

A chain.

Each bowl he used,

A stop.


She stops,

Picks up, replaces it,

With care,

Just where.

If she leaves them, he’s still here,

In traces,

dna remains.


No crime scene here.

He had that courtesy,

To leave the home,

Be gone,


In dreadful courtesy, she thinks.


He chose with care,

Just where


He knew,

Not two,

Not twelve,

Enough for no way back.

No track,

To follow, bring him out.

(The forest, dense, stands peaceful still,

No crime scene there,

He’s liberate.)

No antidote,

No undignified bout,

Over days or weeks to drag him back.


She chokes,

A boulder in her throat,

He swallowed seventeen (no boulders there)

He made it stop,

… before what?


She’d seen him count,

Each morning, night,

Three, no more,

Kept him alive,

Go on.

His choice to leave.


She may grieve.

Not yet.

In grief a certain freedom lies,

The chance to rage, to rave, to fly,

Unchained to earth, to let it go.

Not yet.


She walks the house, perimeter.

Pick up,



A trace of him


In ambit and catenary

She’s chained.