BETTS, TARA

INSTRUCTIONS FOR A SONNET

The sonnet is an intimate space—
a tiny box like a cramped bedroom
or a project hallway. A fine trace
of sense or memory that can loom,
even as it folds itself compact,
dense, willing to make a tight turn
like the dodge of a child who reacts
to gunfire. He shows you the scar and burn.
The sonnet leaves little room in its spell
cast to transport someone somewhere.
It recalls corners of sweat and fried smell
that fill shrinking hallways, too much to bear.
This box reminds you of a low, firm ceiling,
and how ideas are erected to enclose feeling.

Tara Betts is the author of Arc & Hue, the libretto THE GREATEST!: An Homage to Muhammad Ali, and the chapbook 7 x 7: kwansabas. Tara received her Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing at Binghamton University and an MFA from New England College. Her poems has appeared in journals and anthologies, including POETRY, Gathering Ground, Bum Rush the Page, Villanelles, both Spoken Word Revolution anthologies, The Break Beat Poets, Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, and GHOST FISHING: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology.

TaraBetts_SWEETreading

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