Shrinking Slipping Sestina
I think this time I’ll remove the pieces from the puzzle instead, break
up lily-pad ponds and cloud-puff evenings.
I will pick out my favorite piece and slip
it into my pocket, leave a wound
in this landscape that was once a present.
At night, with no one around, I will press it to my lips, close.
I will lie like this a long time, close
my eyes and take a break
from treading the present.
I had always thought there would be an evening
out after a while, the healing of a wound,
but I think I’ll always be pickling in slip
and weep as I watch time slip
by, swimming faces of people who used to be close,
girls whose fingers once wound
themselves into my hair, breaking
silence only for the sigh of evening
coloring our eyes with present.
Now here are the options I’ll present:
make peace with the wrinkles and slip
on the inescapable like an evening
shawl, silk pulled close,
or instead, let it break
as waves against the wound
in the coast, beach wound
tightly against ever-present
mountains, peaks breaking
sky into slip,
the shades of evening.
Despite the evening
I won’t be able to close what I’ll open that evening.
There will be no break from that bleeding wound;
Present will keep slipping by.
(Inspired by “The Shrinking Lonesome Sestina” by Miller Williams)
My bittersweet farewell to College Prep, high school, and childhood. I will miss you all terribly.