Wednesday, March 16, 2005


~ a sestina

Jayne says she’s moving to Panama,

where I imagine Gaugain and his wild birds,

opulent women with black hair and sepia breasts,

knowing my country is wrong

but having the vision

nonetheless - perhaps some temperamental

need is expressed, or is it the temperature

that’s unequivical? Jayne will leave for Panama

in a few years, she envisions.

Meanwhile her partner takes the big bird

flight to that country or a slow boat, I could be wrong.

Upon her return, I might learn if the breasts

of Gaugain’s women are like the breasts
of the Panamanians, does temperature

affect these things or is my picture wrongly

skewed and does it matter? Why Panama?

Because Jayne is sick at heart like a bird

out of sync with its flight pattern, its vision

dependent upon the vision
of its leader, but the wind against its breast

like an outstretched hand, cups our bird

in a turrent of false moves where temperature,

and faulty navigation, not like the Panama

scheme, captures the thing in a net of wrong

sights, fake landmarks, nothing is right, everything wrong.

So Jayne, who is five years my elder, has a vision.

She sees escape from inevitable sadness in Panama,

with or without the famous breasts.

She will go to this home of expats - placid, temperate

Panama, where all feathers, all birds

are welcomed or so she says and no bird

is ruffled by armed men, by sad, wrong

rationales of hate, where temperatures

all year are mellow, a moderate vision
a sane world. She prepares for Panama,

birsong echoes fill her breasts.

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