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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,

closing

the shades of evening.

Despite the evening

wound

close,

present

slips,

breaks.

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.

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