Rain at Midnight, a Sestina | Poem by Jenene Ravesloot

Rain at Midnight

A midnight rain, more rain, someone moving down the street,
someone whistling Carmen’s “Habanera,” whistling it off-key
as rain, more rain falls on a half raised windowpane.
Puddles shimmer like butterflies behind the torn screen.
Everything is neon in this light, everything gleams.
I have to kill him while I have the chance.

I have to kill him. I have the chance.
Rain, rain, more rain falls on the oil slick street;
everything is neon in this light. Everything gleams
while he whistles the “Habanera,” whistles it off-key.
Puddles shimmer like butterflies behind the torn screen.
Rain, more rain falls on a half raised windowpane.

Rain falls on a half raised windowpane.
I have to kill him. I still have the chance.
I see him, see that fluttering behind the screen,
see rain on the windowpane; lights blinking on the street.
He whistles Carmen’s “Habanera,” whistles it off-key.
Everything is neon in this light. The gun gleams.

Everything is neon in this light. The gun barrel gleams.
I listen to that whistling at the half raised windowpane,
him whistling the “Habanera.” He whistles it off-key.
I have to kill him. This is my chance.
A midnight rain, more rain, footsteps on the street;
puddles shimmer like butterflies behind the torn screen.

Puddles shimmer behind the torn window screen,
walls flash in this neon light. The gun barrel gleams.
His heavy footsteps move down the street as rain,
more rain falls on the smeared windowpane.
I have to kill him. I know I still have the chance
while he whistles Carmen’s “Habanera,” whistles it off-key.

He whistles the “Habanera,” whistles it off-key.
Puddles shimmer behind the torn screen.
I should kill him while I have the chance,
should kill him while everything sits in neon, gleams.
Rain, rain, rain falls on the raised windowpane;
falls on his footsteps as he moves down the street.

A raised windowpane—I can kill him. This is my chance
as he moves down the street. Everything is neon. The gun gleams.
He whistles off-key. Puddles flutter behind the torn screen.

Jenene Ravesloot

A Sestina

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