Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Silence Sestina

You know very well you should never
just wad up a handful of oily rags
and leave them in a closet, in the dark.
Claim you were distracted by a kiss
from a lover or a baby's scream,
but the fact remains, you started a fire.

Now the city is full of racing fire
and the department says they'll never
catch up. You can hear the sirens scream
as the crews run themselves ragged.
Civic life—well, you can kiss
that goodbye for now. The city's dark

except for flames. It's like a new Dark
Age: Europe's map dotted with fires,
plagues and invasions, the kisses
of death for previous empires. Never
expect anything to last: rags
clothe descendants of Caesars, screams

are swallowed by silence. Your screams
are stifled in the encroaching darkness.
The inside of your throat is ragged
with smoke inhalation. You're dying by fire.
Dawn may come someday, but you'll never
see the long grass tremble to its kiss.

The only sound now is flames kissing
new buildings. Imagine how they scream
knowing they're doomed to never
be inhabited. Windows like darkened
eyes bruised by the black hands of fire,
edged with broken-glass raggedness.

As if you'd stuffed your ears with rags
silence comes, welcome as a kiss.
You can no longer hear the roar of the fires
and distance destroys the sound of screaming
people fleeing into burning darkness.
Your city will rise from the ashes—never.

The liquid kiss of approaching darkness
quenches the ragged red blanket of fire.
There will never be any more screaming.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

1 comment:

Andy Sewina said...

This reads so well!

I saw your syllable sestina's in Wags Review. Nicely done!!