The Knave of Hearts, A Sestina
“Hey baby, I wish you’d help me escape,
help me get away,” said the knave of hearts.
He was young then but getting old
before his time. The knave was sentenced to time;
again and again, time. Could she paint his escape a color
that would get him out of this drunken wilderness?
He was so caught up in this city of wilderness
that he was unable to escape
the prison of a real war. The girl—a color
of something pink like the sensuous hearts
that sometimes melt—was caught in time.
Would their love ever stand a chance of growing old?
Thinking our loud, the knave repeated an old
saying. Words about taking the wilderness
and her love for all time
to his own breast, to plan an escape
with his exquisite adversary and cry to his heart’s
content; cry the deep blue color
of the sky and mourn the color
of red left in his eyes. The old
desire that burned deep in the hearts
of both the girl and the knave. In the wilderness
of passion, love goes to war. Soon escape
for the knave would be lost in time.
Time and time and time,
The knave moans at the thought and color
creeps into his face. The girl will escape
the rogue because in this old
movie the script calls for it. Wilderness
will swallow the knave of hearts.
Silent and sad, the knave of hearts
will learn all the lessons in time.
But for now in this chewing wilderness,
this vast unknown, the color
of love has been obscured by the old
pain. The knave will never escape.
The knave of hearts cannot escape
time and he will grow old
in a wilderness without color.