29: on the logic of fear in triplets

yesterday I strung my first guitar with the help
of a friend who had his own to string, an instrument
for advanced artists and looked it

he said he hated stringing guitars and I told him
it had to do with the fear of those things
that might garrote us, the human fear

of sharp things and something deeper,
I thought, about the vulnerability of fingers
which was in my mind as on my right-hand

pointing finger I had sustained a thin
cut, the knowing-about-which slowly mattered
over the morning with a thinner sting

a sting I noticed only after opening the cat food
or when I brushed my teeth or when I slowly
passed that same finger over the touch pad

or when I washed my hands and definitely
when I ate a salty chip with hummus and definitely
when I strummed the guitar, and thought:

what if my finger nail was on the underside
of the tip of my finger? Then I would be passing
that thin cut, with its sharp but subtle flavor

over six killing strings and this would result
in the sound of the potency of blood rushing
against the air, where it turns red

where it’s not supposed to be; it’s supposed
to be on the inside of the body, contained by our
perimeters of touch and sensitive hairs

which detect the wind and the invisible webs we walk
into at night and the approach of armored
weaponry on the streets where we protest

the dictator’s freedom to draw it and spill it
at very little cost often, and to raise those
suspected of harboring dreams of something else

onto platforms, where, above the dreamers,
nooses hang, soon to ligature their breathing,
make music, string their own guitars

and so, the fear of stringing guitars is really
the fear of a constricted neck and swinging
under a platform or, in traditional fashion

seated in a chair with a band over one’s strange
neck apple soon to feel the pressure of the garrote screw
all against one’s will

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