Monotone Love Affair

Although subverted in places, this poem is written in the form of a ‘sestina’. It’s possibly the longest poetic form I have encountered, which challenged me to write longer poems than I usually do.

Wish I could go back in time and ask the person who created the sestina how they came up with it. Nevertheless, here’s my poem for you. Enjoy!




We are colanders. Colanders sieving

life through our bones, on a throne –

well, a bed – of fire and candles we already put out,

extinguished. I suggest we put our marriage down,

pretend we are new to love, pretend there’s still a fair

amount of time before the huge room


filled with our family and friends, and rings on middle-fingers. Before the room

we settle down

in. When our conversation worked on a tone

besides raging.

when we used to go out.

When you still took me to park fairs.


This isn’t fair,

you know. What happened to the times when we used to sing

together? Remember when went down

to the Karaoke Box? We booked a room

and sang songs by the Overtones

(your choice) and Bon Jovi (mine) until we were kicked out…


We’re doing it again. Why do we have to shout,

fight like boiling water in a pot, searching for room

to breathe, to reach over the other? Don’t you know that hot water stings?

This isn’t fair

to either of us, putting each other down

all the time. Guilt weighing heavy like stone.


You apologize in that sweet tone

of voice I married you for. ‘I’m sorry, let’s not fight,’ with that funny pout

you do.  You lower your head down

to mine and kiss me. I say sorry as well (it’s only fair).

We laugh at the same time when we hear the neighbour “singing”

outside and move to a different room.


TV on, we sit in the living room

where you’re reminded of your tone-

deaf “girlfriend” who just loves to sing –

trying not to laugh, running a hand through my fair

hair whilst the other turns the TV down,

tired of listening to characters spout


their nonsense on love. I tell you about

my “boyfriend” who refuses to put the toilet seat down

and we continue our monotone love affair.






3 thoughts on “Monotone Love Affair

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