Emily Winakur


I made a friend last year.

The world is a ball of string, she said.

We are the macramé artists.

We? I asked. The humans, she said.

I tightened the phone

in my fist.

I sit on a sofa, surrounded by skeins

of sea green yarn.

In my lap, a blanket grows.

My cousin’s belly…

My sister buys a home.

I knot for them and think, knot and think.

My lap grows warm, the needle slips.

The same friend who phoned will marry in the summer.

I will weave her table runners.

Soon I will learn to spin wool.

To dye it watery shades.

To tend sheep.

To shave the sheep.

To bleat.

I can’t make the animals,

but I can build the fence around them.

I can plant the plants they eat.

When time is right, I’ll arrange a trade

with neighbors—their children

for a crocheted wig or rug.

I’ll use the hair

they dig from drains.

I’ll take great pains.