people hanging on bungee ropes

Poetry No. 88 – Tricia Bogle


by Tricia Bogle 

I dreamed of telling of an idea—
An idea thwarted, actually, because in the dream, 
the idea was of rope, 

and as I explained to my listener, 
we had no rope.
We used to, but it was gone.  

And the idea was an old one anyway.
I explained this, lingering on the non-problem 
of the now-gone rope,  

describing its coil—
like a belt curled in a suitcase,
but stretchy, multicolored,

vibrant as a bungee cord 
that pulls you back, 
or lashes you to a car for travel. 

I explained that I knew this idea was a bad one,
and not only because a stretchy rope
wouldn’t work well for the described purpose. 

Rope must be tight to get that job done.
My listener panicked, picked up a phone
to call authorities—anyone with power 

to commit me for an idea 
I wasn’t committed to.  
And with that, the force of the State  

pierced my dream, 
drove in the wedge
of fear.   

Because even a dream 
of telling of an old idea 
is dangerous. 

Even a poem 
is a tightrope. 

Tricia Bogle (she/her) is a Missouri-born, NYC-based poet. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing & Philosophy (Loyola Baltimore), an M.A. in Political Theory, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy (Fordham). Her work has been featured in Passengers Journal, Cagibi, South Dakota Review, Chautauqua, and Pine Row. Her ekphrastic poetry exhibit, In a Garden of Small Dreams: Art + Poetry in Conversation (with digital artist Shu Tu), is currently on display at  the New York Public Library, Hamilton Grange, through September 15, 2023.

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