And did they hear, those on-looking distant
Rules, hear did they what was said to the world?
That story must be told by one “me,” can’t
Have a sonnet without that one letter mold—
First person voice, and make it beautiful,
Can’t have a sonnet that doesn’t love,
That doesn’t speak from a mouth of its own
That doesn’t rhyme, that does not resolve
Can’t call it a sonnet if it won’t grow old,
Not Shakespeare but Brooks, not Byron but Stein
And here— the words that did not do what they were told
And here— rules fall, away in line in line
But author? Who author, who inspire? Who make?
Un-sonnet, un-sung it, not claimed. Not take.
And if I loved you more than you loved me,
would anyone in truth of it be wise?
I measure you not in soliloquy,
but how you hold me when I start to cry.
If all the world did freeze and cease to turn,
the sun, and moon, and stars exit stage left,
the feeling would be something like this burn
that scalds me as you take up my time— theft.
We laugh, we cry, I hurt, we hug— but see?
I know that doubt will live here in my head,
so long as you share not your heart with me;
it’s easier to fade away instead.
I love you still, but needing to be free,
I’ll take the heart you left; it still belongs to me.
I sleep on sheets covered in beer and carry boxes of bottles to the trash room, boxes and sheets and smells that could get me in trouble with the people who wear uniforms
And I put my head on the shoulder beside me and everything is sweat and stale alcohol and three am and I was supposed to do more homework tonight. I was supposed to get more done and go to bed so much earlier.
But here I am, tired and lying beneath Kenyan blankets, atop Blue Moon covers, lightly taking your phone off your chest and setting it away as you slip into sleep beside me
Here I am, bringing you trash bags I bought with my own money, carrying a box of illegalities I didn’t drink to the recycling, leaning into your flanneled embrace in the Sunday morning quiet of the hallway
I will take care of you, no questions asked
I will always take care of you
Before sleep’s waves, in the dark, holding my hand to yours and telling you that I am here to talk— and knowing you will never take me up on it.
Asking you questions because it’s my job, and you say I do it too well, and we both know that that avoids the question in the first place.
I will take care of you, asked questions unanswered
It is 3 am on a Sunday, and I will take care of you
— The End —