A (sort of) poem: “Every Night I Save You”

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Thank you to enigmatic_blue for hosting the party!

Author’s notes:
Eep! I’m an hour late — sorry!

This is my first attempt at writing a rhyming poem, specifically a “sestina,” and it kicked my ass. A lot. For those who want to know:
The sestina is a pentameter poem consisting of six stanzas of six lines plus a three-line coda (know as the envoy or envoi). The sestina “rhymes” on six end-words, which must be repeated in each stanza in a controlled order, whereby the last end-word in each stanza becomes the first end-word of the next stanza: abcdef, faebdc, cfdabe, ecbfad, deacfb, bdfeca. The envoi must employ two of the end-words in each of its three lines.
– Helen Vendler, Poems, Poets, Poetry (p. 603)


But I want you to know I did save you. Not when it counted, of course, but… after that. Every night after that. I’d see it all again… do something different. Faster or more clever, you know? Dozens of times, lots of different ways… Every night I save you.
– Spike, “After Life”

Every Night I Save You

I sever his tongue with a vicious smile,
And toss the vile demon off of the tower.
With the fading night the shadow of death
Pass over us all. Soon it will be dawn,
A new day, a new start, full of promise –
A new life with my pet and my hero.

“No soul – but you want to play the hero?”
The trim demon taunts with a puzzled smile.
I lunge, “I made a lady a promise.”
Together we fall – stupid tall tower –
Somebody else will have to untie Dawn.
All pain is bliss if it spares them from death.

The Nibblet screams she’s the key to his DEATH!
That’s it – distract him – my little hero –
See how he copes with hypersonic Dawn.
Exploiting his flinches, I mirthlessly smile.
He hasn’t a chance here on this tower:
Nothing can keep me from keeping my promise.

Gasping, “I’ll kill you, somehow, I promise,”
I struggle and try to choke him to death
For the last time; our blood makes the tower
Slick but I won’t let go. I’m no hero
But I can draw out a fight, and I smile
As I engulf him in flames in the dawn.

“Stay with me, Willow,” I race up toward Dawn,
“Don’t let Buffy keep her bloody promise.”
“To kill us all?” The witches wryly smile,
Their craft strengthens my hands to deal grim death.
Buffy has friends; she’s not a lone hero –
Against all odds, we survive the tower.

Leaping, I reach the top of the tower.
Quickly and cleverly, I rescue Dawn.
Back on the ground, I stand like a hero –
The sisters are safe; I’ve kept my promise.
We defeated a god. We defied death:
A victory crowned with my love’s sweet smile.

And yet, each dawn recalls her last smile:
Every day, the hero at the tower
Redeems my broken promise with her death.


Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/321598.html