August 11, 2014: A Broken Sestina for Robin Williams

by Jamie Alliotts

Oh, Captain.
It had to be a belt.
I’ve thought of that.
Knives take too long.
They hurt too much.
I’m sorry everyone gets to see.

I remember noticing your reflection in Lois’s musty mirror that one night, seeing—
Meeting you at that meeting inside the clubhouse on 46th Street. [Hey, Captain.]
You told me how finding that lone blue mitten on your pillow one morning had been too much,
Just enough to bring you back. There, on 46th Street. I was wearing the same belt
I’m wearing today, in your honor. It’s black. And very old. I’m poor, too. A long
Time now. Oh, Captain. Enough of that.

I remembered the night, long before, when my parents took me to that
Movie you’ll always be in. Seeing
You stand on that desk made me want to teach. And be different. It’s been so long.
Maybe someday. Oh, Mork. Oh, Garp. Oh, Captain.
I wear my belt
For The World According to Much Too Much.

One year may not seem like much.
But we all cheered when you celebrated that
Single year back. There, on 46th Street, where I wore and wore and wore this belt.
You there made me feel safe, like something good or funny was going to happen. Oh, Captain.
So long.

I don’t know how much longer
How much
Only that
This belt

It has to be a belt.
It’s not too long. Just long
Enough. I’m sorry everyone gets to see.
It’s a little much.
One loop or another, this hole or that
O Captain My Captain O Captain My Captain O Captain My Captain O—

Buckled and black.
In your honor.
So long.