I searched everywhere: behind the oak tree with the blemish
On its trunk, and the old cypress
Where the tractor sits at the end of the path where we got lost
Playing one summer day; me the fox and you the rabbit
Changing roles turn and turn about like the fluid
Sunlight that made long shapes of us on the ground

It must have gone to ground
Hiding its face like covering up a blemish
Or a beauty-mark, thick pinkish fluid
Coverup, then powders with names like “autumn” or “cypress”
Tested, each one, on a caged rabbit
With dark eyes, hardly born before it’s lost

I’m not sure how to find it, if it’s even lost
I’ve covered every inch of ground
Sniffed it out like the fox and the hound – I mean, the rabbit
That ran before us, vanishing into a blemish
In the mossy bank under the cypress
Where the creek huddled, more mud than fluid

Perhaps it can’t be found; it takes on more shapes, changing and fluid
And every time you find it, it just gets lost
Again, hidden away where the cypress
Makes shapes like lace on the ground
And the hills rise, each a blemish
In this evening field there’s not a single rabbit.

I am the rabbit
In the moon, I am the everchanging fluid
Shape of things, look at my white face without blemish
And hide your eyes or you’ll be lost
Just another stain on the ground
In the shadow of the cypress

The Romans lined the way with Cypress
Elm, pine, and hunted the woods clean of rabbit
Deer, partridge and all the small creatures who lived on the ground
So too the trout were chased from the fluid
Streams and rivers; we too are lost
The map is clean of path, road, blemish

Our love letters are written on the trunk of the cypress; they have faded to a blemish
The rabbit that roamed the fields has dug a maze and become lost
I cannot stand my ground in this light, silver and fluid.

Another sestina, prompted by six words from the sadistic editors.

 

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