Lisa Hiton | Poetry

FAILED SONNET IN AMERICA

I.

I wanted to write a poem
without it happening.

It is happening
on camera

and there is his voice

recognizable…..motherless
he will not be
a father, ever... Who
will have him

II.

now. The name
is called out
here on camera.
Another gun
is sold. This time
to the girl.
The choice
is neither love or
death….nor life or death.
Death
or death. It is
inevitable.

III.

I wanted to write a poem
without you in it, but here
you are. I wanted
this silence
to be silence
but here
it is speaking. I
wanted not to be
here, or here,
or over
…….there

Now everywhere
inevitable

IV.

sky, enormous.

V.

We have been godless
always. But now
you are motherless.
Some man
has a megaphone.
You have to listen.
Some man
has a penis
and you are breathing.
You have asked
for it.
Some man
has a gun.
You are breathing.
You have asked for it.
Some man
has a camera.
You are naked
because you have skin.

VI.

I wanted you
not to do this,
oh, you have
coddled
the wrong child
because you
thought they
were motherless
fatherless
godless. She

has a name, she
is breathing,
she is here.

…………………And here.

VII.

The graves are dug
in curved lines
fast as a tide.
Caskets fill them,
tide pulled under.

VIII.

Someone is counting
the failures.
There are so many
they each seem
a small piece
of sand.

The more

we count, the less
is accounted for.

IX.

Violence, enormous

X.

and empty,
what to count.

(The question marks
are periods.)

XI.

everyone
yelling
to be saved

XII.

no one
shouting
to be changed

XIII.

 

……………..

.

XIV.

There it was
silence ….A window
how inconsolable
how to tell
a child
this

I wanted to write a poem

.

.


Lisa Hiton holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Boston University and an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Linebreak, Lambda Literary, The Paris-American, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and The Literary Review among others. Her first book has been a finalist or semi-finalist for the New Issues Poetry Prize, the Brittingham & Felix Pollack Poetry Prize, the Crab Orchard Review first book prize, and the YesYes Books open reading period. She has received the AWP WC & C Scholarship, the Esther B Kahn Scholarship from 24Pearl Street at the Fine Arts Work Center, and two nominations for the Pushcart Prize.

2018-11-25T03:27:16+00:00