Not imposition, but welcome. The way
cooperation welcomes coercion, turning the
tenor of the intended phrase, opening
the statement to interpretation, opening
a point without dissension, in the way
of politics, agreeing which fact will shape the
morning, which truth will determine the
next word and the subsequent, as if opening
the issue, claiming to have found the way,
one way, the only, but never actually opening.
* * *
A tritina might best be described as the lazy poet’s sestina, consisting of ten rather than 39 lines, with the end words of the first stanza repeating in a specific pattern in the subsequent two stanzas. The last line includes all three end words.
The last line uses the end words in sequence following the pattern of the first stanza.
Some rivers shift course, but
I stand firm, a nexus of rejection,
that line denoting separation of north
and good, evil and south, dark and
white. Welcoming no one, I stand
guard, opposing all with my flag
of diminishment. Squint, and you
still can’t see me. Your bare feet
won’t stir my dust. I am nowhere,
but remain here — that feeling of
prideful despair, strong, resolute,
inflexible foe to all who dare cross.
“Self-Portrait as Border” first appeared in October 2018 in Minute Magazine. Many thanks to the editors for taking my poem.