a sestina of sixes

A few unbearable and failed wonders

Brought out in the light, words
have silent ways about them – I
have seen hushed vowels who just
wait for the consonants they need
quietly, like so many children, six
years old, proving they are good.

But nighttime’s hushed space is good
for hearing truths, for sounding words
and slow wonderments, the reality I
know after every eye-closing, just
after every dreaming rest, a need
in the winter’s dawn at 6:00.

Of the soft syllables, there are six
in my room.  They taste good
leaving my tongue, the words
with their rounded edges, and I
look them in the mouths, just
waiting for them to speak.  Need

is the coldest loneliness, this need
for voices in the night – six
pregnant silences waiting to do good,
waiting to prove themselves.  My words
fall to the carpet.  Here I
am, lips parted.  I am just

a magician fumbling in moonlight, just
a mumbling midwife with a need
for strengths I can’t conjure: six
lyrical, brilliant tributes to the good.
I have sacrificed all my words,
all the others.  But still, I —

I
just
need
six
good
words.

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One Response

  1. Wonderful. Especially “hushed vowels…like so many children,” “soft syllables,” and “mumbling midwife.” Beautiful tone and composition. Pleasure to read.

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