Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Soulmates: A Sestina

©2009 by Jeremy Masten

At six o'clock, I wake up to alarms
Wanting me to get up on my legs.
I'm missing one; I reach out for my crutch.
Aluminum is all the latest fancy.
I hobble to the bathroom, pull the cord
That lights the room, awaking and frustrating.

I hobble to my closet.  How frustrating
That all my clothes don't fit.  That fire alarm
That doused my clothes: it shrunk up all my cord's.
They once were long enough inside the leg
But now are short and ratty.  Stupid crutch
That makes me hobble keeps me free of fancies.

I used to think a woman was a fancy
Way to keep a man in line, frustrating
His ideas, acting like a crutch
When all he needs is truth, a rough alarm
To wake him up and put him on his legs.
She’s like, I thought, a pretty minor chord.

But women aren't instruments whose chords
Can be predicted.  No, they're much too fancy
For that.  I met a woman on her legs
Who found that I could be a bit frustrating.
The day we met, outside the school, alarms
Were blaring, answering my lifelong crush.

She probably wouldn't like me as a crutch;
She's probably good enough to find accord;
She wakes up on her own, with no alarm
And leads a life of art, of something fancy;
She probably never finds herself frustrated;
She knows exactly what keeps her on her legs.

And I'm afraid that I do, too.  Her legs,
So perfect that she doesn't need a crutch.
And what am I?  A burden, a frustration.
She knows this song and dance; she’s played the chords.
I've grown attached to her, I think I fancy
That she's what keeps me waking sine alarm.

So when I say that I don't need alarms,
And when you notice that I have both my legs,
And when you wonder whether I'm too fancy,
Remember I am just a man.  My crutch
Is she who keeps me walking, playing chords
That soothe and vent and cut off all frustration.

She's on her legs, she pulls the cords
That drag my crutch into my fancy.
No more frustration, no more alarm.

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