sestina

Water

Hydrogen and Oxygen go well together.
They stopped caring about man-
made things with their first rain puddle on the concrete.
And even after years past counting, they are still making love
and trying to figure out how to make rain fall up.
They want not to lie about in puddles on spring evenings.

Their existence is so different from our quiet evenings,
their bond not quite like the way we are together,
even though we are made mostly of the same stuff as rain, being human,
even though on summer nights, to feel the left over heat, we lie down on the sidewalk concrete.
Because I do not say what I have for you is love,
but I am lying next to you every early morning I wake up.

Hydrogen and Oxygen are flying up.
They are dancing through all the evenings
of their lives.  They are lying with their heads together
in the cold nights when they are far away from all things human
and when they have left everything but themselves lying on the concrete.
They are wandering wild and are everything, in love.

Hydrogen and Oxygen are in love,
always.  They know the up-
ward feeling of their bodies evaporating from tea kettles on Sunday evenings
when they can’t help but be together.
They are embracing and dripping off of maple leaves, and, when no human
is looking, leaving dappled raindrop footprints in the concrete.

We never drew our initials in drying concrete;
we never thought to shrink wrap and flash freeze our love.
What we have is not so much a giving up
as a settling in – into our little life worn couch cushion on Sunday evenings
when we can’t help but be together –
when we can’t help but breath together and be human.

In the cold nights when we are far away from all things human
and when we have left everything but ourselves lying on the concrete,
let us wander wild and be everything, in love.
Let us fly up.
Let us dance through all the evenings
of our lives.  Let us lie with our heads together.

Hydrogen and Oxygen are in love with being together,
and as we give ourselves up to the concreteness of our humanity,
they, without worry, let their evenings pass by.

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One Response

  1. I just wanted to clarify a few things about this poem. It is a sestina, which means that all the lines of the poem end in the same six words (together, man, concrete, love, up, evenings). With each new stanza, the order of the end-words changes according to a cycle. The last word of the previous stanza becomes the first end-word of the next stanza, and so on, until, after six stanzas, you have exhausted the cycle. The final stanza is always three lines, and it includes all the end-words.
    And in case anyone noticed the strange short lines, “sidewalk concrete” in the second stanza and “evenings” in the fourth stanza, those are not meant to be their own lines. Unfortunately, I have not yet mastered formatting in WordPress, and long lines are proving to be problematic.

    Thanks for reading!

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