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INVISIBLE RED CORDS


--by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming


Our austere old man under the moon
binds lovers' feet
with invisible red cords.
He has no need for wings, bows or arrows.
And he walks slow.

He knows there will be love
when love is seemingly uncalled for.
In his book of single mortals,
each to each,
ask, 'How's your foot?'
'How's your foot?'

Sometimes when he's bored,
he experiments with permutations
of man and woman.
Flipping carelessly through his book,
or ignoring its pages,
he ties loose strands together.

One couple in ten thousand,
feet hobbled,
are dragged to the altar.
Pulling at their bowties and necklaces;
they feel an invisible noose
tightening around their throats,
as our austere old hangman
ties the knot.

("Invisible Red Cords" was first published in Sotto Voce Magazine, Issue 1 Fall 2008)