Creative writing is a hobby of mine. I enjoy writing short stories and poetry, especially poems with strict rules such as sonnets and sestinas.
This is a poem I wrote that was published in “Mirrors,” a creative showcase section of The Reflector for students at Mississippi State University.
Stalkers prefer sestinas
by Mary Chase Breedlove
Memphis, Nashville, Birmingham, and Atlanta
have each held my heart in their hands.
I locked eyes with him in the Nashville Airport; now I live
on the interstate. I begin in Memphis, where my heart started to beat —
then meet Birmingham for the sake of I-459 and relief
from the state of Alabama. Two hours in, I’ve made good time.
My chest thumps and echoes in my throat when I meet the time
change. Only 61 miles to Atlanta.
The excitement peaks when I see the skyline, but relief
fades to terror. Knuckles white, neck tense, hands
sweating. I always think I’ll finally beat
the sea of angry drivers on Ponce, and don’t. Mercifully, I live.
John Mayer asks the right questions on the radio: Am I living
it right? Why, Georgia indeed. But this time
I think I am doing it right. He’s perfect. He certainly beats
the last one. Or three. Tracking him all the way to Atlanta
has been exhausting. I watched him in the airport that day — I watched his hands
holding the boarding pass and lungs rise and fall with relief
that Flight 353 to Hartsfield-Jackson was on time. The relief
for me was I remained unseen. That look was all I needed. We will marry and live
happily ever after, I’m sure of it. He’ll put a ring on my hand,
he just doesn’t know yet. He can’t know yet, it’s not the right time.
Now that I’ve mused about our first date, I park my car and greet Atlanta,
I’ll walk down Tenth Street until I find him. Maybe I’ll beat
the crowd of Techies swarming the street. You can’t beat
a spring day in Atlanta — they’re all out to play. I’m filled with relief
when my eyes find his car. Yes, that must be his. It’s suitable for Atlanta
traffic. Red body, strong tires, seatbelts. It keeps him safe so we can live
together forever. That’s all that really matters. I remember the time
I watched him lift his suitcase. He was so careful and deliberate with his hands
and I knew then — he is the man of my dreams. Now I watch his hands
open the car door and climb in. The sun beats
down on my back. It’s time to meet your future wife, darling. It’s time.
He tries to start his car. Tries again. And again. What relief
to see he needs my assistance. It’s meant to be. I’ll live
as the hero in our love story that blossomed in Atlanta.
I walk towards him — happy, eager, and ready to start our lives in Atlanta.
We make eye contact for the second time, and he sees how I live
for him now. He looks shy, but soon he’ll feel relief.