one-word song title sestina #2

(I have a playlist in iTunes called “one-word titles”, and one of the things I do with it is hit shuffle, take the first six songs, and write sestinas. Here’s one.)

It’s Tuesday night and I’m fifteen minutes late for rehearsal
Again, same as the last five weeks. Maybe I can be forgiven–
Stuck in the daily pushing of paper and red tape at work,
I left an hour ago, got stuck in traffic–so my bandmates rejoice,
At least, at my being able to make it at all, their desire
To have me with them playing bass trumping something

Like impatience. I’m here; that has to count for something,
Right? Right. We have a gig Saturday, so rehearsal
Feels less like something born of our old youthful desires
(For which we had to be perpetually forgiven
By homework and obligation, in which we didn’t rejoice)
And more like the reality of sweaty, calloused work–

“Ben, I told you once, you’ve really got to work
On keeping the beat–” “You want to know something?
“What?” “I freaking hate this song.” (And inwardly we rejoice
At the tics, the friction, because it leads to the desire
To be better, to love more, and because it’s easily forgiven
By our comrades in war and fiction). We rehearse

Andrew’s new number–“Did you guys go over this last rehearsal
Without me?” “Yeah, we tried to work
On the chorus a little–Ginny comes in on the ‘Forgive
The old and new things’, we decided it needed something
There.” “Oh, and then Eddie holds out that long ‘Desiiiiiiiiire’
In the bridge, right?” “Right, yeah.” “Rejoice,

Brothers, the club in San Diego called–” And rejoice
We do, another justification for all this rehearsal
In Ginny and Eddie’s garage, for the desire
To make some freaking noise, for having to work
Two jobs to support our music habit, the something
Inside us that makes us want to forgive

The whole world for what they couldn’t forgive
Us of, the passion and need to rejoice
In the sheer sound of it, the need to do something
Beautiful in the world–but my mind snaps back to rehearsal,
My fingers thump the bass’s neck, and we get to the work
Of tuning and listening and fulfilling desire…

It’s just rehearsal; it feels like something
More important than work, than even desire–
With each note, I forgive, and then I rejoice.

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