That on Himself such Murd’rous Shame Commits
                                                                                            Shakespeare, sonnet 9

A single missed chance defines the shoes someone wears
A mirror erases the need to carry on a two-way conversation
A juvenile delinquent snatches purses inside the 50 year old man
A chin patch and a too-tight t-shirt do what they can to help
A broken promise joins the others and tells an unfunny joke
A house turned inside out equals bad pictures passed off as art
A breakfast and a few phone calls do not buy a prom dress
A pair of high-top sneakers would tell all if allowed to talk

The ending is uncertain but will no doubt be one of getting even
The message came in garbled and carried with it the unexplained
The mean-spirited nickname suited well and yet still wasn’t enough
The missed chance and the mirror equal a man who drives a toy car   
The nothing that he was is the nothing that he is when he starts to talk


Where I May Not Remove, nor Be Removed
                                                                        Shakespeare, sonnet 25

He is the one who wanted to remove himself
From the room where to rise is to understand
There is no accounting for the way the window
Only does a half decent job reminding us to look
At what we are missing when we sneeze and how
The turban who lives three houses down is the same
As the facelift two blocks over and the coefficient
Of the chemicals that live in the apartment complex
Begin the important job of thawing the tundra
And as the part stands for the whole the wind
Says the F word and the number eleven
Quits its pouting and decides to pick up its toys
And the one who removed himself feels regret
But has no idea how to reenter the empty room


For Truth Proves Thievish for a Prize so Dear
                                                                              Shakespeare, sonnet 48

What we wait for comes home with her many faces
And her secrets like fat apples that wait in a bag 
With the promise juice will run down our chin
But we do not understand what happened
Or what we did to make her panic
And pull to the side of the road in dread
And it does not matter our sadness the rocket ship
Blew up in midair making heroes of all it contained
Something she went through the paste called the past
Said in its steady voice nothing will be the same after this
And not twins nor the house suffering from dowdiness
Can make the trajectory of a car on a highway
Take any course but home and what waits there
Us saying I love you and hoping it won’t fall on deaf ears


The Hardest Knife Ill Us’d Doth Lose His Edge
                                                                                   Shakespeare, sonnet 95

I keep erasing the next line because it can’t stop looking at itself
In the mirror and maybe if I got new glasses my edge would stop
Roaming the streets looking for someone who would appreciate
What it hides in its pockets and if I could find a way to stop
Talking to myself in the third person then the wind would find
What I threw in the lake where the fish gorge and can’t stop
Eating each other’s young and if I could just get my edge back
Then the second person and the bowtie it wears would stop
Turning my friends against the beanie and its propeller  
Because no one believes cause and effect will find a way to stop
Its attack on the first person and if I would just learn to quit
Wishing all that noise outside would find a way to stop
So I could get some sleep and get myself back into shape
For the day when this off key singing in my chest will stop




[Andrew Cox is the author of The Equation that Explains Everything, (BlazeVOX [Books) 2010), the chapbook, Fortune Cookies (2RIVER VIEW, 2009) and the hypertext chapbook, Company X (Word Virtual). He lives in University City, MO, the Brooklyn of St. Louis, where he edits UCity Review.]

Copyright © 2013 by Andrew Cox, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.