The Turkish carpet lay across the uneven floorboards that night,
Whorls of brocade that gleamed in the distance spiraled to faded gold.
My heel caught on the raised stitch and I stumbled.
You caught me and lead me in a slow dance to the rhythm of a ballad,
That could have been a battle hymn
Ground out on a scratched guitar,
Strings worn down, notes off-tune,
A premonition of things to come.
The rug had been striking once,
Woven into existence by mechanical hands in a warehouse in China,
(Don’t worry, the label Made in Turkey wasn’t added until it arrived in Ohio, stitched into place by an undocumented girl who pricked her finger on the needle and smeared the droplets of blood along the rug’s matching border)
Things only age in one direction,
Solid and ephemeral alike – carpets, ballads, love,
The gold thread and sharp notes worn to mustard yellow monotones,
Red-burgundy thread the color of dried blood turned rusty brown down to the mesh backing.