I've written a bunch of sonnets in my life, none of which I've thought was any good. I was reading Hass's "Little Book on Form" last night and thought I'd give the form another chance. What if a sonnet recapitulated the history of the form, however vaguely? Quatrain on forbidden love; quatrain on God, post-volta resolution of the two as the form itself slowly dissolves.
If it is true that we should not have kissed
Because we know how sad life is and cruel
If I should never’ve pressed my fingers to your breast
My silent, protest rage, beloved, well, then to be a fool—
Who could not help but hope God dropped a sign,
Before, befuddlededly, he wandered off,
Forgetfulness, read upon your skin,
Or momentary blindness,—then such a sin
Is just the entrance fee. Love does not last—
We slid into our clothes and closed the door,
Turned on the light, resumed the souls we’d been.
We must have known we would. And yet we were surprised
Like thirsty hikers lost on foreign hills
Who despair to find a stream—and there it is.