Robin Beth Schaer


There were no solid walls or impossible locks.
I was the Queen of Birds, with a metal shim
beneath my tongue and a shoulder slipped

from the socket. My escape was always astounding;
the art was finding the slack. Then you, my sweet

locomotive, careened. Your impact shook loose
sequins and concealed keys, released a sack
of pigeons. I was not in search of whiplash,

but in your long arms, I craved capture,
the stillness of a swaddle and would reeve

myself to you with piano wire, twine, and rope,
unrigged. I offer my wrists, my thumbs,
but the unfettering you feel is just my finest trick.




“Restraint” first appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly (Issue 73).