This Poem has Death Words (a sestina)

I’m fixated on the miles of smoke
that wispily reach into the royal blue
amidst the cirrus, each cloud at its point
of breakage, like an earthquake of tears—
maybe not of sadness—I never cried from pain,
though perhaps a clinical itch

as I have not allowed myself to fall to mental itch,
but my skin winces when it touches smoke.
I’m too weak to divulge that, so I take on more pain
The pain of the sand so white and the lake so blue
and the palms so green, which glide to the ground like the tears
of that teenager, bulldozed here at some point,

who later saw there was no point.
I heard she fought through nine years of self-inflicted itch
and two decades of her mother’s tears
barely visible through her cigarette smoke,
and eventually looked up at the starry blue.
She pulled it, hard, but felt no pain.

But I know her smoke is causing me pain,
and through several catalysts, a critical point
is reached, and the ghostly gases become gray-blue
acid rain. My skin and eyes will succumb to the itch
as I taste the teenager’s parental tobacco smoke
and vomit her burning tears.

I then, once again, commence choking on the world’s tears
as I internalize a portion of Earth’s collective pain,
and somewhere I release my own smoke
into the atmosphere, as if there’s a point
to trying, because every time I’ll watch their inner itch
manifest, cut into me, dye my skin blue

with blood soaked in the same gray-blue
death rain, baptize me an ingrate with my own tears,
and I’ll simply feel the formation of my own itch
towards the rest of the world, which becomes my pain,
and my carrying capacity, predictably, hits a point
at which it cracks and explodes into smoke,

sapphire blue flames, and an implosion of pain,
helplessness, and blissful itch, and I’ll make a point
to patch the fissures with fresh tears and to suffocate the smoke.