Archive for September, 2010

Sestina Wherein I Fail Once Again To Not Write About You

Posted in My Poems on September 11, 2010 by paulscotaugust

Sestina Wherein I Fail Once Again To Not Write About You

April drops on me like a sledgehammer,
another month wondering why you’ve left.
I stand in my house listening to a passing train
until the echo of steel wheels is gone.
Your imprint vibrates like a tattooed kiss
on my inner wrist and I don’t want it to stop.

But I’ve learned to live with it, this nonstop
want. I pause with a nail in my mouth, the hammer
pulled back. Hanging pictures is simple, just kiss
the nail dead on and try not to miss and leave
a dent in the plaster. But accepting that you’re gone
has taken longer than that cross-country trip on the train

we took last fall. Now I find myself here, a train-
wreck with holes in my wall, pictures on the floor. Stop
the presses! Another poem about you. Since you’ve gone
I’ve been writing to reach you, my pen a hammer
pounding out verse after verse, taking leave
of my senses, the voices swirling into a noise like a Kiss

concert circa 1975, years before you were born. So kiss
goodbye another piece of paper, another car, bus or train
metaphorically heading in your direction, piles of leaves
on the lawn, or blowing down the block until they stop
against the neighbor’s fence, another symbol to hammer
home my obsession with you. I’ll hang the “Gone

Fishing” sign on the store, disappear again. It’s a forgone
conclusion anyhow. I can’t even remember what your kisses
feels like anymore. Was it like what a hammer
does to a nail? Did it resemble standing too close to the train
tracks when a locomotive strikes a pedestrian and grinds to a stop
much farther down the line that you expected? I think I’ll leave

those images to others and go back to my walls, leave
it alone and finish hanging the pictures. Inspiration gone
I can still pound a nail, hang the frame, step back and stop
the bare walls from squeezing in on me. Our last kiss
may be my last one, unless I can learn to somehow train
my hand to write that one poem that falls on you like a hammer.

But if you think I might stop trying, maybe even leave
something out, the hammer, a bent nail, desire gone
away, then you can kiss off or better yet, jump someone else’s train.

Paul Scot August

Published in Naugatuck River Review, Summer 2010