I have only ever used the sestina as a political form. Poetry is political. Politics are poetic.
I’d ask, “America, what happened to you?
Are you joking? Are you high?”
But I know what happened. It’s morning
for your bigotry, the end of a race
in which race was your primary beef. Be better,
I implored you. You fucked me. Accept?
I’m fighting mad. I refuse to accept
the closet, the chain gang, bare feet. You
asked for this. It gets better?
Fuck you. You want us to die. You fill your high
offices with your hate, condemn us on race,
on sex, and on dreams. What’s better this morning
is bitter. You adore our mourning.
If we cry hard enough, take our slaps and our shocks, we’ll accept
our place (last) in your race –
lie down and die, let you
play King of your molehill (how high!),
believe that of the world’s best-laid plans, yours are better.
I’m sure you feel better.
Why not? It’s a new dawn, a new day. It’s morning –
that’s a line you’d be happy to claim for “high
art.” You know who I mean. You don’t accept
theft, you ignore it. You earned it. You
own it all. The master race.
Call me bitter for losing a race.
A harpy, a faggot, your bitch – even better.
It is for you
The Lord made this morning.
Embrace it. But accept
this: it’s a temporary high.
Remember the high
praise: “she doesn’t quit.” We know the race
doesn’t end while we live. So do you. We accept
the battle. You still try to kill us. We fight. Better
suit up. We’re fueled by our mourning,
dark-skinned, queer as fuck, and we’re coming for you.
Go high, my loves. You’ll see better.
The race has a new course this morning.
It’s time to accept that they hate you.