This sestina is dedicated/inspired Joyce Carol Oates' short fiction Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been


Trapped in her world of music


Her thin wrists locked by bracelets of jingling charms


Searching frantically in the mirror for affirmation of her beauty


Silky hair flowing as she strode with darting amber eyes


As the boys stared she unleashes her piercing laughter.




He watched as her breathless laughter


Entwined with the blaring music


Hiding beneath dark sunglasses, his shatter-glass eyes


Roared that he desires to charm


Through the heart of the sapphire-eyed beauty.




To gather praises for her undeniable beauty


She switched her cynical laughter


 To jingling giggles as she changed


Into the appropriate outfit for home with music


Bouncing in her head and charms


Jingling like alarms on her wrists. Invited by her eyes




He thought that He has to have her!  Eyes


Burning as he watched the beauty


Walk away, leaving shards of charm


 And pieces of nervous, forced laughter


Lingering in the air. Looking for fitting music


Soundtracks in his loose change




Littered car as he laughed under the changing


Shades of the desert sky. Eyes


Set in the direction the music


pointed, he goes after the beauty


who has hair the color of magnesite stone. Laughter


slashing through the desert without charm.




He said in his monotone Baby I am your Prince Charming!


Oh she had not the chance to change.


She screamed desperately for her mother as his laughter


Penetrated through her with his shattered eyes


Taking in the powerless, shaking beauty


Who was betrayed by her music.




Bits of charm reflected in his shatter-glass eyes


As the changed, obeying beauty


Stumbled toward his laughter, following his music.


Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741