Carport Cacophony: a sestina

Under the carport, inhaling from my last cigarette another drag,
I listen to the voices rise and fall through the window,
their cadence and cascade a soft counterpoint of sound,
muffled through the closed glass;
here and there I catch a word, a phrase, a hint of mood –
then it slips away, like quick smoke, through the air.

There is a persistent chill present in the evening air,
that causes my blood to slow and my body to drag;
it brings a quiet, calm that soothes my work-weary mood,
and a slight hint of frost to the closed house windows.
The echo of the city slides by like marbles on a plate of glass,
leaving an empty hollow space without sound.

In this quiet place, small ideas seem so great and sound;
they shape themselves from the shadows and take in breaths of night air,
and build great reflections of themselves in the dark glass.
An hour passes quickly, as the sullen minutes drag
and flicker like flames against the frost-covered window,
and abandon all sense of order in response to this mood.

Then, suddenly, I am struck by a most melancholy mood –
I hear the futility of harmony in every passing sound,
and the anger in those voices on the other side of the window
seems to convulse and fold the now chilling air.
time has recovered its momentum, and the seconds cease to drag,
as a passing car stereo throbs by, rattling its cage of metal and glass.

The song of my heart is a symphony of broken glass,
and the chill of the night wind reflects this strange mood;
once the manic cycle ends, the valleys seem to ebb and drag,
and silence overtakes each song and swallows whole its sound.
Even my practiced lungs seem to have an aversion to their diet of air,
and there is a sad, lonely face peering from my window.

I listen again to the voices seeping through the closed window,
and wait patiently as they decrescendo against the cold glass;
I take in a deep breath of the cold, night air
and let the biting, bitter taste of it influence my ponderous mood,
let the chilled rasp of it linger, savoring the whispered sound;
then, from that cigarette, a last, longing drag.

Shivering slightly, I let my feet drag toward the door, put my hand against its glass,
watching my breath steam the screened window, letting it cast off this somber mood;
With a gentle sound, I release this poem into the air.

23 NOV 2002

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