This is not your sestina

by Matthew Gorman (Univ. Mount Union)

Honorable Mention

so leave already and vacate my heart,
take it with or leave it here; I promise
once you pass, you'll never rise, the name
of a devil's angel (advocate) will my pen fight.
On vellum paper it will not be, on round-head rock it'll rest.
This is not your sestina; it is mine.

Remove yourself from this paper mine
or the heated blood rush fiction from this heart
will erase those letters and keep this promise:
a poet's love's eternal, but I'll forget your name!
Each swift stroke of pen will fight
to avoid the syllables and lay them to rest.

Or should I recall and write hte face, the voice, the rest,
like the daydream naps in the bed once ours, now mine.
How playful tip-toe fingertips found my heart
and laid, pulsating with a beat buried below, a promise
to only beat as response to one name.
For a bond that won't break, what man would not fight?

No! This recollection's what I must fight,
your eyes and memory will be put to rest.
This pen, this paper, they are both mine
to do as I please, to speak my heart.
A poet you have loved, but I promise
a poet will not write your name.

No paper will bleed your red-inked name.
I've sworn this to be and I'll fight
any man who sits to rest
and write that word that once was mine.
You didn't just collect one heart;
there are poets elsewhere who must make this promise

to never think you, never feel you, never write you, promise
that pen and paper won't meet and love your name.
I swear this pen itself I'll fight
and if I must put it to rest,
and maybe then it'll all be mine,
never to remember or recall, my heart.

My heart, it makes its last promise to name
the final fight that laid it to rest:
This is not your sestina. It is mine.