Little Pleasures Lost & Found

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Photo by Luis Morera on Unsplash

I swallow him: his eyes and song and voice,
and hypnotize myself into a state
of listening, absorbing every choice
he’s made, the prayers he’s uttered, wipe the slate
of self away, his bones become my own
the scoliosis and the heart attack;
no easy transformation, bend and groan,
consider the minutiae, every slack
of muscle, every word to him prescribed.
Now weight it all and shape the living clay —
but carefully! A writer once contrived
the shape of him, so wander not away
but step beneath the light and speak as him,
leave not a single flourish to mere whim.

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This story is a response to Prism & Pen’s writing prompt Little Pleasures Lost and Found.

A Sonnet for Poetry Sunday

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Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

I wonder why you love: it’s not enough
to ride the rush of chemicals it brings,
these human hearts collapse when things are tough
and love is yet a doozy. It will wring
good sense from all your body, light a flame
that seems eternal, but it flickers fast
and when it dims you panic and you blame
the nearest body. You are left aghast
in retrospect — the words rang cruel and true
enough to kill a little light for good;
you only have yourself to blame, you knew
their every flaw and swore you understood —
and yes, you do! True love requires grace,
a fragile creature you cannot replace.

more poems from zach j. payne

A Sonnet

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Photo by Jake Noren on Unsplash

The memory of music hits the page
so glorious in grief, unbitter now
while phantoms have the power to assuage
the songs we lost — and, then, you wonder how
a clock might tick in retrograde, repair
the wounds we rent, unswallow poison pills
before the damage settles — only fair!
Who guesses that a heated moment kills
affection so? A love song boils off
and empty winter settles in its place.
Now I regret. The universe, though, scoffs
at any notion of redeeming grace.

And so we live: with scars and cobbled songs,
flesh testaments to all our grievous wrongs.

want to write a sestina? the sestina-o-matic can help.


Zach J. Payne

(He/They) Ninja Writer. Thespian. Queer. Essayist, poet, novelist. “In Search of Sunflowers” available on Kindle now.

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