Elisa Gabbert
Kathleen Rooney


 

Smoking Villanelle

 

The situation was not without charm

but I'd never, ever do it again.

There must be a better way to stay warm

 

than running a lighter up & down my arm,

which is dry as a bone & matchstick thin.

One situation that's not without charm

 

is a ritual bonfire—there's not any harm

in a little pagan frenzy now & then.

But there must be a better way to stay warm.

 

What we used to do on the family farm

was assign everyone an animal twin.

The situation was not without charm

 

but had its drawbacks. Don't be alarmed,

but one day you'll die. The question is when.

There must be a better way to stay warm

 

than that crazy dance. This isn't a dorm,

that's not a laundry bin, & I'm not your friend.

Though this situation is not without charm,

there must be a better way to stay warm.  

 


 

Exposition of the Contents of a Cab

 

So maybe I was drunk—but when I found the note

the sky opened up. The gum said "Devilment," not

 

"You will be granted three wishes." Even still,

I wished for Doublemint. My amour propre

 

suffered a catastrophic blow—I folded the wrapper

& said Show me your favorite bright lights to the driver. 

 

As we cruised the strip of 24-hour flower shops I rolled down

Memory Lane: willed memory vs. memoir involontaire,

 

hip-hop vs. rap, all the old arguments make me blue—

it's all very recherché, very whoops-missed-my-stop.

 


 

Join the Millions

 

Books can't stop tanks, but they can stop bullets.

Bullets of love. If you can't fuck your way out

you're stuck. Stars are just bullet holes. Bullet

holes of love. I should have said "you're fucked."