Thursday, April 4, 2019

Sestina

They always met on the night of the saxophones,
Catching their shoes along the avenues of blue.
They lacked but a pencil to autograph the contract,
For they both would need a place to hang their suitcase
And a hole that went all the way under their skin,
Or at least somewhere different than the farm.

How could they know they were listening at the farm
To the same scratchy peal of the saxophones?
For as much as they yearned for a different skin
There was only the sky, and its same shade of blue,
No rescue from the room where they dropped their suitcase
And made love by the sign of the room rate contract –

It was all right there, before they signed the contract
And put themselves out to pasture on their own farm
Like holy animals, and hid the twin suitcase
Next to the gramophone, where the old saxophones
Still secretly played their heartbreaking paeans of blue
While the walls were covered in kisses like moist skin.

Soon PJs covered the blessings of naked skin
And all easy forms of contact became contract-
Ual, and all the sure yesses turned into blue
Refusals, before the cold comfort of the farm
Provoked a cry from the slaves, wailing on saxophones,
And hands that soon groped in the dark for the suitcase …

You know how this tale ends. You’ve carried that suitcase
Trying to get away from the pain of your own skin
And the sound from the distance: insistent saxophones
Who’ll tell you it’s nothing to tear up the contract,
Make omelettes out of the eggshells, bet the farm
On a pair of walking shoes, as relentless blue

Holds you like a newborn baby staring blue
At the distance, the mirror, the old and weary suitcase
That will go with you when you’ve finally bought the farm
Having thrown your old clothes to the road, shed your skin,
Or so you had hoped, when your tears bleared the contract
Fine print, not knowing you’d be left only saxophones

Moaning out the same tired blue of your lust for skin
When the clowns from the farm arrived with their contract
And you opened your suitcase, freed the saxophones.