My heart is a knot
that you are tied up in—

orchid in an ice cube,
pierced butterfly wing.

For you I must be
what I am not:

a little lance holding
hair-trigger spring,

the thing that separates
rocket from bomb.

If I am oyster, you are pearl
If I am shell, you are mortar

Baby bird, cement shoes
I love you but I’m afraid to move.

Connecting loops
you say,

sliding imaginary ropes
around our two necks.

I dread anything
around the throat—

infinity symbol,
invisible yoke.