Sestina for the Fix | Joan Mazza

  • Krysia Jopek
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So this is life, another day, another broken
thing: shoelaces, a fingernail, a leaky
faucet in the kitchen. The plumber says to bleed
the pipes, but I have no idea of such a fix.
I call him back and write another check.
I don’t care what he does. Just get it done.

When three things aren’t working, I’m undone,
especially when the car or the computer breaks.
I freak-out running through the checks
to trouble-shoot the problem. My mind’s leaky,
a sieve that can’t hold what I know, how to fix
or find a work-around. It’s as if I’m bleeding

out, can’t get conscious. Is courage in the blood?
A genetic ease with getting things done
in a certain kind of person who can fix
anything? I call an expert when something breaks.
I don’t know how to fix a leaky
roof. I call a licensed roofer, write a check.

Entropy acts on teeth, appliances. Nothing that a check
can’t fix. I tell myself I’m generous. I donate blood,
can deal with aging, though I hate these leaky
eyes. Some days I see it a first sign that I’m done
for. Here, overpasses and bridges break
down. There, abducted school girls can’t be fixed

when they return home with babies. Who will fix
this? Is there enough money to write checks
for all things broken? Daily, my heart breaks
at the news. Suicide bombers make my blood
run cold. How can it be? When will this be done?
Today the White House complains of intel leaks,

of disloyalty among his ranks. Most leaks
come from within, as it’s always been. No fix
for the chief who wants to triumph and won’t be done
until democracy disintegrates. He wants to end checks
and balances, to be king, to see some blood
run in the streets. He’ll say, I won. How easily we break.
Whatever’s broken must be fixed,
the leaking and bleeding stopped. I know
it will take more than a check to get it done.
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