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The following sonnets were inspired by the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges. I use a rhyme scheme that approximates, for me, how it feels to read him. ABCBABCBCADEDE



I begin with the phrase, a day without
your voice, imagining, unable to
imagine. What follows is the story
of what came next in the city park. You
speak to me continuous and about
the time I start to doubt a tiny blue
butterfly lands at the edge of my tea
cup, antennae quivering like you do
when I think too hard and you see through me
to the singular voice that draws us out;
so now I know the fiction of a day
without your voice is a mystery full
of clues that wind us through labyrinthine play
arranging a deranged and mystic pull.


Here is my sweet reality: I wake
to you in slanting rays of sunshine through
the morning cloud and feel your lips in my
first smile. Upon the oak floor, bare feet, two
cool means to enjoy your silent touch, make
no distinction in the here and there, do
little more than flow through sound and when I
cannot comprehend all that we’ve been through,
your loyal polar spin refreshes, aye,
of certainty once more I can partake!
Our resurrected secrets playing out
their ancient roles, now starlit and precise
we conjure greater worlds within and shout
the joys we feel as more than worth the price.


Then, when we choose to meet, who will you find
but you? For every glance and word and hope
I’ve held, kept safe for you and planted them,
an orchard with a quiet shaded slope
of plane trees from the contours of your mind;
and just as clear, the opposite, this trope;
in you I shall discover diadems
that once were quandaries now antidote,
and boundaries like veins of hidden gems
that friendship and long trust have deeply mined.
so from this shady park bench I depart
pursuing yet another fractious lead
down avenues that seem to wound the heart
but will in time console our every need.

© Elaine Stirling, 2011