Vapors: a sestina

Distracting myself from the possible,
I concentrate instead on what is now:
The pale dawn, skin, warmth,
Your sun-burned back and arms,
Trying to coax my premature expectations
To dissolve back into whispering vapors.

It’s too easy to trust vapors,
To force on them the form of the possible
By clothing them with expectations
That fly in the face of the now,
That make a pair of sun-burned arms
Lose all their comfort and warmth.

And yet there is some warmth,
Hiding in the vapors,
Inherent in your sun-burned arms.
But when I compare the fiery possible
To the feeble flicker of the now,
I burn to reach those expectations.

But I can’t live on expectations.
Their razzle-dazzle offers little warmth,
Fireworks serve me little now.
I close my eyes to feel the vapors,
I close my eyes to block the possible.
I close my eyes and kiss your sun-burned arms.

I am tempted to burden those arms
With my brightening expectations,
My promises of the possible,
But I fear my present warmth
Will be lost here in the vapors.
Nothing to comfort me now.

Fireworks serve me little now.
Around my shoulders your sun-burned arms
Whisper to me, “Vapors,”
Your skin derides my expectations.
Frenzied, I claw for the unfailing warmth
That exists only in the possible.

There is no road between Now and Expectations.
Your sun-burned arms still give me warmth,
But anything more than vapors is impossible.

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