Bells, Liberty, Undue Exultation

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 …

Illustration by Jessica Fortner

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.

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