I thought of this whilst reading a poem by Kalsooni titled “A Poem A Day (Day #11), which I really liked.
The poem I’m writing for you is in the form of a Sestina, which I again subverted in an earlier poem called “Monotone Love Affair”.
A Sestina is a poem made up of six stanzas of six lines, and a closing triplet. The six end words of each line of the first stanza must appear at the end of the following stanzas but in a different order. An example of this – if each line of a stanza was marked A-F) – would be :
with the final triplet being ECA or ACE, using all six of the end words.
Without further ado, here’s my sestina!
The Stabilising Vane
You are an infection.
A blood-curdling virus
that runs through my veins
and arteries like a lie:
but always changing.
I am changing
because my attraction
to you is incapable
of reason – like us
incapable of communication as we lie
together, our thirst for happiness in vain.
The stabilising vane
has come loose, changing,
morphing. Rot and pain underlie
ship has sailed. Only curses like puss
tread these bogged waters. Able
to. We lie
through our teeth, mixing fable
but to turn to a more serious vein
of thought: What is happening
There was once no sign of infection,
of anger slipping through the cracks. We could lie
with no hint of disease in our sheets. We could discuss
our problems without a vein
of annoyance at night; less culpable
than that very same morning
with no arguments, no poisonous words
words. No lie
on the tip of your tongue burning
a hole through my lungs, unable
to speak past the smoke – the true vein
of our love inches closer to extraction.
But it’d be a lie to say I want this to end. In my veins
I know we are capable of changing
to fight the infection that is us.