American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin

Sunday, 7/26/20 at 6:44 PM
1     Inside me is a black-eyed animal
2     Bracing in a small stall. As if a bird
3     Could grow without breaking its shell.
4     As if the clatter of a thousand black
5     Birds whipping in a storm could be held
6     In a shell. Inside me is a huge black
7     Bull balled small enough to fit inside
8     The bead of a nipple ring. I mean to leave
9     A record of my raptures. I was raised
10    By a beautiful man. I loved his grasp of time.
11    My mother shaped my grasp of space.
12    Would you rather spend the rest of eternity
13    With your wild wings bewildering a cage or
14    With your four good feet stuck in a plot of dirt?

Terrance Hayes wrote Seventy sonnets

I'm reading some sonnets these days.
I’m sort of obsessed with repetiton,
Its capacity to form a lyric sequence.
I want to know more about the letter “b.”
I want to linger on the “shell.” volta.
I love the coming of the volta in the
position of the sestet, which makes it
feel like the nose of the poem, in terms
of facial proportions—not the lips, an
extended period of life outside the shell,
which I did not see coming, expecting a
properly Shakespearean couplet instead.
Why did I not read Petrarch earlier?
Who is the man? Who is the mother?

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