A baleful valentine from Elba: I demand to be your belly button’s bellboy!
What with my bulrush libido, and the raw

lobster latched to your earlobe, life in la ligne aérienne
is coming unglued. All my unbillable hours delivering boiled water lilies

in a wheelbarrow; it’s enough to give Lillian Hellman
the collywobbles. I lost a castle, a thimble, I clung

to a mineral libretto, I’m drinking for two. My blood is leaky, blustery, it billows
with lamblike culpability, it’s richer than you. Mon beau’s

an empty cymbal in the all-white school band. Listen,
I’m still cleaning the club soda you spilled through the crack in freedom’s

umbrella. I’m the eel-ribboned Easter hat with Belarusian diamonds.
Listen, you won’t believe who’s back:

my flibbertigibbet hymen. A clang from the cloche tolling
the closing of Heaven’s last hyperlink.

This appeared in the May 2016 issue.

Linda Besner
Linda Besner will publish a new book of poetry, Feel Happier in Nine Seconds, in 2017.
Jessica Fortner
Jessica Fortner (@JesFortner) has done work for the New York Times, the Harvard Business Review, and The New Republic.

Join our community

Still reading? Show your support.Tote bag

The Walrus features award-winning, independent, fact-checked journalism and online events at thewalrus.ca. Our content is available to all, but as a registered charity, we can’t do this work without contributions from readers like you.

For only $10 per month, you can support the work of The Walrus online. All supporters will receive a complimentary tote bag, gain access to exclusive updates, and join the community that powers the work we do.

Be part of The Walrus.
Monthly donations receive a charitable tax receipt.