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I tried to write you a love note
but wound up with some
jumbled
mess
about the space between high and low tide-
how those underground crustaceans
never know whether to scuttle
or stay buried in the sand
like how I never know whether to speak
or keep my head down on the table.

And the haiku fell apart
because every 5 7 5 was 10 9 8
7 6 5 until I got to 2
'you, I'
and 1
'alone'

I tore a villanelle to shreds
because I couldn’t hold the refrain.
sonnets and limericks and epigrams and tankas-
nothing sounds right coming out of my mouth
because I don’t know how to speak
and my words keep stepping on their shoelaces
and my pen keeps losing ink
and every time a thought comes along I think
'no no no'
'That isn’t it'
'That’s not what I mean at all'
and my hand, mind, and mouth wrestle each other
until they're are beaten limp
and there’s nothing I can say or do but
nothing at all.




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