I cast my suffering away and bind it onto you—
or so I think.
But pain is a thick cord, a sticky strand,
a thread spun deep within that does not break.
The web, once woven, only joins.
Every act of cruelty or blame, every thought
that someone deserves some pain,
every permission given for one to suffer
for another, secretes another thread,
a stronger cord, and weaves a thicker web.
I cast the lines, and they wholly bind me.
Anger winds me in its sheets.
I am matted together in one mass
with all whom I have rejected or hurt.
I am covered in my own life-sucking cocoon,
unable to move, to breathe, to imagine,
doomed never to change from life into life —
until, because we are wrapped together,
I see my victim, my neighbor as myself,
and in the burning anguish of my seeing
dissolve the binding ropes, and then
come out, so fragile and small,
and willing to be wounded,