Sestina For Two (By Candlelight) This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   They are sitting, brother, sister, as they once did at this table

whose low, chrome edge now knife-gleam

slides through the black

playroom in a ray that does not bend or taper.

No more children, they've outgrown these chairs that used to fold

and stack, and yet they sit in them as statues in a house of wax,



with lips breathing air that floats through vapored wax

and dusty specks; inhaling those atoms on the periodic table

which life often needs, and whose symbols unfold

in their memories as they gasp each precious gleam

that hovers darkly above the lit taper

and makes dense the air, already black.



He is staring at the charred wick, stark and black,

when he notices the twisted rivulets of wax

streaming down with a warm and graceful taper

that freezes into a broader chill, a frozen image he cannot table

from his mind; this fragile melted pattern of shadow and gleam

is like her white skirt draped on the cold floor, fold upon fold.



And his face, though watching, leans still on his arms that fold

beneath his chin, and like a black

hot iron gathers the tint of reddish gleam

that when glowing fully will wax

the metal into distorted shapes upon the anvil table;

his face and arms are scarlet and bloody from the wounded taper



at which she too glares, her gaze a sharp, but weakened taper

of anger for the candle that she faces with not a fold

along her crimson brow, smooth as a table

above her narrowed, focused eyes whose dilating pupils are black

like eclipsed moons that wax

darkly, each circled with a white blade gleam



that keeps its shape with not one icy gleam

of motion, unlike the flame of the flickering taper

which wavers steadily beneath their breaths to wax

into a faint glimmer and mark the room's dark fold

of space with a black

edged glint, like a dent in a metal table.



They sigh at the taper, they sigh and watch its gleam

bend beneath the folding currents of their air; the fumes of wax

are rippled blackly, but breath can't move shadows on the table.



* Editor's Note: This poem was a runner-up in the Emerson Writing Contest - and had been submitted to The 21st Century


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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