My teacher shows me flashcards with random objects: table, mug, mask, violin, knot, sun, scissors.
She tells me to pick one. I pick the only one I cannot name: knot. The word for knot is nudo. I think of desnudo: naked and ask if they are connected. She says she’s never thought of them as connected. I think being naked is certainly being without knots. She says:
1. Describe the thing realistically. Describe it physically and essentially as if you are making a definition.
2. Tell readers what it is and what it represents for society, the world.
3. Tell readers what it reminds you of.
Someone crosses the lines
of a single piece or several
strings of fiber to connect
them together or to fix
something in its place.
A knot–in traffic, in hair, in a
system, in a hose–symbolizes
problems that need attention
immediately. For horses, boats,
thieves, dogs, the knot is a jail.
For some, also, the tight knot
of the marriage lasso is jail.
I knew a girl named Dawn, Summers
when we were (much) younger,
we were always riding horses
and running the desert’s dunes.
Dawn fixed the knot of her lasso
on her left thumb. The movement
of a bobcat in underbrush spooked
her horse and her thumb fell
to the desert floor.
Okay, next task. I needed to pick another card and do the same thing but with some more metaphor (which was prohibited in the first; oh, how I wanted to use a bellybutton!)
I chose the violin.
She sees the instrument of her childhood
with its voluptuous body and fine lines,
and she thinks of nights outside under
the tamarisks when she would give
concerts to the cats and chickens and
horses until darkness finally arrived,
until there was a breeze in the trees,
until her mother called her in for a small
dinner. The instrument delivers her
memories of the standing ovations
of favorite pets.