A sestina, Laurie? A sestina? This flipping, flopping, churning form that reminds me of a taffy pulling machine, constantly pulling and turning inwards? THAT’S what you want us to write today? Fine, fine. I’m FINE.
I was not happy.
Every day was different, yet the same.
The routine that provided security
kept me – us – safe began to destroy
my soul, deep fissures that cut
me, bled me. I just kept going.
Two weeks became two months became going
to bed with heartburn, waking with anxiety, happy
that no one we know was sick. Trips were cut
hair wasn’t and the news was always the same.
So I stopped watching. One myth destroyed
and three would spring up. Seclusion meant security.
I learned about food security.
About vacuum sealing, buying in bulk, anything to keep from going
to the store only to see shelves destroyed.
It all came back later, but at first we were happy
to find outdated yeast packets forgotten. Our friends were the same.
As long as we could hunker down we would make the cut.
I don’t remember when I stopped caring, when I cut
out that part of me and preserved in a jar for security
but it allowed me to make room for the same
day lived in infinity, first grade classes that kept going
in set rhythm that seemed to make my son happy.
By end of school days I was destroyed.
IN a decade or two students will study how a virus destroyed
faith in humanity, sanity, reality, and cut
holes in America like moths chew through wool, happily
gnawing on fibers that fray and split, secure
and full these worms were while sweaters unraveled, going
towards nothingness. It was all the same.
At the year mark I could feel it, the same
desperation I felt long before. The desire to be destroyed
to simply stop being, stop going.
I did not want to die, just to be cut out
like a paper doll and pressed securely
between book pages, alone, forgotten, still, happy.
But I kept going, each day the same.
I wasn’t happy, that part had been destroyed.
I could make this cut, and stay secure.