They usually come at night
When fighting the battle of sleep
I recall the window, green and purple blankets and sheets
I am a walking video tape
Broken VCR rewinds
Without being touched, my brain is the television on which it repeats
Classroom desk, The Color Purple, Letter one; repeat
2:00, surprised, they usually come nighttime
Video cassette jostled in its compartment, forcibly rewinding
No, please let me go to sleep
The thoughts take my limbs and bind
them to my sides, wishing for the refuge of sheets
How I want to burn those sheets
Maybe the tape would no longer repeat
Take the memories and unfasten
them from my mind. It was never at night
No sneaking into bedrooms, sleep
wasn’t any harder than usual, only rewinding
When we were home alone, rewinding
Inside those sheets
I wonder if he could still sleep
Does the repetition
Haunt him at night?
These memories belong in boxes sealed
in ***** basements like ****** up Christmas presents not meant to be opened, tightly wrapped
Red ribbon on the spool, rewound
like the film tucked away in a cellar without lights, dark as midnight
Upstairs, I am safe, a breeze from the open window blows sheets
of watercolor paper sprawled on the table with repeating
brush strokes. The chair next to the window is a fine place to take a nap.
Here, ill recordings do not interrupt my slumber
I’ve read that victims will often put themselves in situations that repeat
the traumatic event. Time is the one thing I cannot rewind.
I sit in a room of strangers filling out sheets
about healthy coping mechanisms. I think of my hard-bedded room; on the wall there is a nightlight
But still. Some nights, it’s on repeat. The boxes open while I sleep.
Some nights my head is still a video tape
They creep up the stairs and into my sheets when I’m not looking. Like tiny spiders that know how to push the << button.
A sestina is a form of poetry that uses the same six end words (words at the end of the line) in different order throughout the poem.
Heres the pattern:
Stanza 1: 123456
Stanza 2: 615243
Stanza 3: 364125
Stanza 4: 532614
Stanza 5: 451362
Stanza 6: 246531
Stanza 7 (the envoi): contains all six words.