Kathleen Rooney & Elisa Gabbert



I disagree—I can choose who I love.
Why should I have to fake-apologize
or gaze all deep into your boring eyes?
Don’t epiphanize &/or romanticize
our working relationship—it isn’t love
if you near-constantly apologize

for things you can’t change. Apologies
are nothing like doves; they have strange eyes
& doves don’t. When birds fall in love

it’s love, not apologia. Not you’s vs. I’s.



Never make a list of people who you want to die
& never title that list Desiderata—this isn’t a vocab test.
The word monster comes from the Latin to show.
If you don’t believe me, you might have a problem with trust.

Now open your mouth & close your eyes. This won’t
take long. Time is of the essence, since this is a times test.
That time I was almost employee-of-the-month
still haunts me. When my boss said It’s all about trust

here at Trixy’s, I outlined a new life-governing policy
that put me in charge of governing your life. This is no test,
no speed trial. This will be placed in the file marked permanent.
You’re my top student. You’ve studied for this, I trust.



I run amok & therefore must run. Come with me?
What are you wearing? I can’t see you from the mountain.
If there are bridges, we have to jump. Can you see me?
If you can, send a signal. At the very least, wave

your white hands or your periwinkle handkerchief.
They might look like birds from up here on the mountain.

I’m above all the birds, & sound travels slowly.
The meadows are violet? I can’t see over the amber waves

of grain & I can’t hear what you’re saying. Violent?
Silent? I’ve found that nothing’s easy on the mountain.

But I’m not afraid. & if I ever make it to the top
hold a parade. Have someone dress up as me & wave.

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