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.