Saturday, January 30, 2010

SESTINA SATURDAY: A Superwoman's Farewell

Sestinator's note: I wrote this to enter Hilobrow's flash fiction contest, thinking surely I could squeeze a sestina down to 250 words. I was wrong, wrong, wrong, but couldn't just forget about the thing, so here it is: flash fiction in sestina form on a troubled golden-age-style Superwoman.

A teenager, I first learned that I might
Be more than merely human. How my mind
Did roil with thoughts of power! Then, the weight,
Responsibility was nil. I will
Tell you now, though, of all the cost, the loss
That came with power. Listen, for all love!

My first thought was "I can compel the love
Of Darryl Green!" I wished with all my might,
And he was mine forever. At a loss
I am sometimes - he dogs me still. I mind
This very much, and think I always will.
He's on my conscience daily, a dead weight.

My powers grew. I could lift any weight,
Could bring back from the dead whate'er my love
Could not abide to be without. My will
Was law to all who heard me speak. My might
Could overpower any, and my mind
Retain all knowledge without e'er a loss.

As I outlived them all, each single loss
Piled on my heart with ever greater weight.
I did my best to put them from my mind;
The planet's needs came first, and soon my love
Was like a distant goddess's. You might
Find this a cruelty. I'm sure you will.

I tired of all the strife and with my will
Alone I built a fortress, far from loss
And those who would contend with all their might
With law and order's forces, throw their weight
Around in quest for power. I still love
Humanity in abstract, out of mind.

Now as I beam this story to your mind,
O feeble scribe, let this be my last will
And testament. I cannot die for love
Nor money, but I'll soon pack up my loss
And migrate to some other world, where weight
And mere survival challenges my might.

Plead as you might, you cannot change my mind.
The weight of years you must bear, if you will
All on your own. Please bear this loss with love.

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