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Agave americana (A Decaying Sestina)

By Stuart Barnes

 

after Lawrence Schimel’s ‘Deleting Names (A Decaying Sestina)'

I am not a centenarian. 
A decade or two, three at most. 
I know my place. I am of the New 
World. Do not mix me up with Aloe
vera, whose adhesiveness disturbs me.                     
I have captured the verdigris
 
and spikes of Lady Liberty. Degree
by revered degree the sun, the one latitudinarian,
cultivates its goldfield. ‘Cyme,’
it announces. I almost
flounce and stalk upwards. Though alo
 
-ne and single-minded I am happy as a low 
-altitude cloud or the man swirling pinot gris
on his modernist portico. The lowermost
atoms animate me, ultimate utilitarian, 
 
utterly unmoved by apiarian
tongues. Suddenly I spurt skywards. Below, 
the man gasps. I grasp the middlemost
 
CO2 and surge.  Showily I unfold my gold in this, the uppermost, 
sphere. My capsules fade to black. Superior libertarian,
 
my black, shiny seeds blow, every one agrarian.  

 

This poem is a public submission created for Red Room Poetry's New Shoots digital poetry anthology

Go to New Shoots Public Submissions's profile to read more poems