I blink, want to shutter my eyes, not sure what else
To say. No words penetrate my mind. I’m uncomfortable.
I need to let you go, but you refuse to release your grip,
So I remain. Tender loss perambulates, quickens my heart,
Entrenches me in grief, as if you died, but you sit before me.
You demand something, a splint for what’s broken.
There is no mending us. I stumble into our past, where broken
Memories reside, stinging like nettles in summer, little else.
No threads weave our tapestry, dulled and tattered, no me
Threading the eye of the needle. I suffocate in uncomfortable,
Unable to fix what’s wilting, your heart, my heart,
For our time has run its course. I want to surrender my grip.
Our love languished, over months, wore out its grip.
A crack so imperceptible, widening to full-on broken.
Our spark sputtered, a weak flicker of a beating heart,
But we held on, blew our breath, fanned the flames, else
We’d tremble. We bear-hugged, awkward and uncomfortable,
And then we waited, I on you and you on me.
I stretch my legs, try to stand, sit, unsure if you want me
To go, as if sitting can create change, adhere our grip,
Glue us like bark to a tree, mend our uncomfortable.
Your hands wring, red marks blotch your skin. Broken
Words tumble from your mouth, ultimatums or else.
I feel stifled, too long. I must leave. I stand, but my heart
Skips and skitters. I stay under your gaze, observe your heart,
Shriveled and hidden. What do you want from me?
I wrench upward, shake my jeans down my legs, time to go or else
I’ll settle, compromise myself further, harshly grip
You and your wants. “Stop it,” I say. “We are broken.”
Tears descend, down cheeks, yours and mine, uncomfortable.
There it is, my voice, rising up and shaking me, uncomfortable.
I push your anger to the side, away from my heart.
You punch the air, shout, holler, beg, “We are not broken!”
You are so wrong, so consumed, but I can’t convince you to let me
Go. I must walk, set you aside, unfurl my grip,
me, trying to fix you, fix me or else.
One step, two, and again, broken and uncomfortable
I leave, wondering what else you may say, with little heart,
but I turn not, desperate to restore me and relinquish my grip.
This poem is a Sestina.
“A complex French verse form, usually unrhymed, consisting of six stanzas of six lines each and a three-line envoy. The end words of the first stanza are repeated in a different order as end words in each of the subsequent five stanzas; the closing envoy contains all six words, two per line, placed in the middle and at the end of the three lines. The patterns of word repetition are as follows, with each number representing the final word of a line, and each row of numbers representing a stanza: 123456, 615243, 364125, 532614, 451362, 246531, (62) (14) (53).”