You brought her to the ocean edge.
She wondered how much it would hurt
If she held her breath without any peace.
If she trailed into the waves on her own,
Met mantle crusts that squeeze her side
Just for imagining different shore lines.

Times you’ve shared pilgrimage in virtuous lines,
Couldn’t say she was so much on a constant edge.
You’d say you’re a worldly friend to be by her side;
Only faraway carrion calls sounded the hurt.
But she said, “I can make it on my own”,
Smiled and prospered like flowers of peace.

There are such words to wound the peace,
Insincere, power-hungry, carnal lines,
To those that rob legitimacy of her own.
The futile silence becomes an edge
That only scrambles in betrayal and hurt
And fear of reprisal shackles her in-side.

Wondered how selfish you were in-side,
To break a pristine and platonic peace.
Prideful with lust and coiling with hurt,
You pried at her armor and broke border-lines.
Won’t let her descend to her own dreamer’s edge
And extol with her beholder’s eye on her own.

She’d once weathered mirrors to a world of her own:
Upbraided expectations that she’d shake off her side,
Kept the levies high to maintain her own edge.
Taught from dusk to dawn to keep the peace
With the boys and their machismo lines.
Her body heat chose solitude without hurt.

Now your emotional dishonesty that did the most hurt:
Tilting deafened eyes and ears, poured by your own;
How asking her for permission never lines
Your mouth as you clenched fingers up her bed-side.
Is this not the bleached desecration of all peace,
As you brought her to the ocean edge.

(As one goodwill drops off the saline edge,
Eventually turns into a tidal, pitiless peace
Emptying like sediment onto her corroded side.)


A sestina is a poem with six stanzas of six lines and a final triplet, all stanzas having the same six words at the line-ends in six different sequences that follow a fixed pattern, and with all six words appearing in the closing three-line envoi.

The fixed sequences:
7. (envoi) ECA or ACE


This is how they measure up in expectant conveyance:
Angelic faces and cadaverous limbs,
In a hall wide with strangers,
Made more cavernous
By the mirrors of censorious apertures.
There’s always one that stumbles, forsaken:
The sweat coalesces on her neckline,
Melding with bone,
Skipping skin.

Painted over,
These laminate eyes
Give off an exotic sheen.
The garb speaks over their silence,
Shorn the broadest-shouldered of their vigour.
Bow-docked girls imitate them in a gaggle,
Carnivorous tones and grasping eyes,
Skipping stones.

The red has not yet dried,
Yet the grievances of politeness gathered
Into an uproarious applause.
The complexion of their faces all
Meld into one shade.
Another dissipated figure drapes forgery
In so much non-fulfillment.
When would each their skeletal gaze embrace at
Skipping nothing?