Sickly Summersong Sestina

A thousand moons, yet none to reap;

fish tanks or silver bowls laden with fruit.

The tails of our eyes emerging from the rush

of all the comets. The billboard outside tells

me to plant a book in my kitchen sink,

to bath-tub in the bowl the wind makes

for me. Cozied in wet tile, my pet fish makes

to point out lavender sunrises, which I reap

selfishly when I venture off my dream path, sinking

into the hush of its forbidden orchards as the fruits

make me narrate tales of far away places. My tells?

I blink— & the poster of my room before me. A rush

like this: I tuck this phantom into my wallet, rush

back home. Crack open the mirror, start making

my own conclusions. The photos on my wall telling

me to close my eyes, I standstill, crown cities, reap

fallen cement to rain a concerto in my room. The fruits

of this labor sweet enough to make my skin sing. I sink

to my knees. What more is there to give? The bathroom sink

caressing my reflection with tenderness. The morning rush

and I go to my backpack, inside which the fruits

of the lampposts hang gravely, bulbs sputtering, making

whining sounds. These lights will burst soon, and I will reap

dazzling lilies and dahlia bulbs from the broken glass. Tell

me, are you the garden or the gardener in this story? Tell

me to, and I’ll etch all the pain out of your cheek. Sink

yourself into every blemish, and they will rise out. Reaping

a flower field through closed pores. There’s no rush

except to see the crows dance. I wonder what they make

of us, standing on this asymmetrical disc, victim of the fruits

we can’t reach. Beyond this archway, the fruit

of this year is as ripe as it can be. Each one has a story to tell.

The farmer, ploughing through the seasons, who makes

them eat when they are ill, coaxes syrup into mouths, sinks

into the soil to hold them to his chest. No rush,

just the distant hum of the city streetcars, who are reaping

exhaustion into the next century. Each breath, the reaping

of the ones we lost. Nature never rushes.

Come lie down with me in the embrace of its sink.

Dhwanee Goyal is getting through college one donut at a time. The editor-in-chief of Indigo Literary Journal, their work appears in Barrelhouse, Foglifter Journal, A Velvet Giant, and more. Find them on Twitter @pparallell, or at