Sometimes a Playoff Game is Just That

You’re caught between two heads,
Two haloes of light, one red,
the other an utter absence of light, a loss.
In a parallel universe, this
is all naturally opposite.
Two heads are caught between you.
Perhaps you are an NHL linesman
caught up in a scuffle.
In a parallel universe, when someone
throws their gloves to the ice,
it means sandwiches.
But in this universe, you must
mitigate tradition and ambivalence.
One head is the convalescent center
for momentum and the other head
is the ambulance that dumps the puck,
a homeless man with his ass
still hanging out of a paper gown.
In a parallel universe,
you could understand what all this means.
I see you are not truly torn
in any physical sense,
though in a parallel universe
one ear will spite the other by tearing
itself away from your head.
Perhaps in this same universe
all internal conflict will manifest
itself in such a way. And since
conflict is often the result of deep thought,
the more features a man is missing,
the more he will be revered as a deep
thinker. Hockey players will keep
all of their teeth.

Lindsay Bell received her MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. Her thesis is about musicality, not masculinity. She is delighted to have her work included in the inaugural issue of Requited. Her poems have also appeared or are forthcoming in Barrelhouse, Diagram, Black Clock, Crawdad, Buffalo Carp, Columbia Poetry Review, and elsewhere. In her spare time, she plays guitar, sings, and tries to get people to read her blog.

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She Fires Blanks and Swallows Sugar Pills

When you are but the proto-villainess,
nothing is at stake.
You file yourself away,
acquire the character
of a red herring.
You are too tweedy,
too intellectual, too many words to be
a danger to our heroine.
You putz around in the threshold,
waiting for some fool to finally get it
and ravish you already. This distracts
from your plan, from joining together
the edges of your dissent,
though it keeps you edgy.

When you are riveted by light splotches,
haloes of whitewash buboes
on a Polaroid from 1987,
there is no reason to be filed.
Something in the shake
let the color slake away –
perhaps it was entirely unshaken.
No negative exists, it was its own
obscure moment in a frilly
green-checked two piece,
before your moment.
You still wonder
how the evidence would be used
so let it accompany you,
though it warrants precious little use.

Lindsay Bell received her MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. Her thesis is about musicality, not masculinity. She is delighted to have her work included in the inaugural issue of Requited. Her poems have also appeared or are forthcoming in Barrelhouse, Diagram, Black Clock, Crawdad, Buffalo Carp, Columbia Poetry Review, and elsewhere. In her spare time, she plays guitar, sings, and tries to get people to read her blog.