• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 11
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Sestina For My Lover On A Dying World

The tube of air runs an ovoid ellipse
On your delicate neck; more clear
Air, this, than any in our blood-orange world.
And you, my troubadour, riven
From the wastes: you release
Your hair from its round fillet, and pluck.

Snapping on gut strings like the pluck
Of rage, Peleus’ son, your song an ellipse,
An orbital, around the haze that does not release
Us to breathe or pant. It is clear
Then, the only clear, in all the riven
Cliffs and dunes of the world,

In all the film-brack streams of the world,
That I love you like the pluck
Spot of a feather, the blood-mark of new-riven
Skin. For to love is an ellipse
Encircled, circulated, clear
As from the centrifuge when you release

The spun down hematocrit, the release
Of the heavy-burdened cells, a world
Oxygenated and delineated, clear.
And head bent downward, I could pluck
You like a bent poppy as you play the ellipse
Of each string, singing from its wood-hold riven.


Sestina For My Lover On A Dying World

Later in our pup-tent we too are riven,
From ourselves as I release
My hand from the ellipse
Of your lips, the spittle-flushed world.
O my newfound land, O you pluck
Me from myself full clear–

From the singed husks of the cities clear
Over the baffles of the cliffs, and the riven
Asphalt, and the hissing pluck
Of the mask’s release.
You brush your fingertips on the world,
Whose latitudinal strings, whose guts, are an ellipse.

So now pluck my eyes from the ellipse of my face, my love,
Release me anew with your clear-voiced murmurings,
My troubadour of the riven sands, of the split-cracked world.