Mad Lib

By Virginia Bell


After Lyn Hejinian’s “I found a wing today when walking”

I found a young woman today when walking—
she was running in her bare feet on the hot sidewalk.

We chatted at the intersection’s red light—
it’s better not to run on the grass, she clarified.

The grass can hide glass, stone, or even
unevenness, surprise.

Pavement is reassuringly transparent—
the sidewalk sings its sins.

Speaking of description: isn’t _______________ like that?
Cozy as television—at first—

some days, though, a trompe l’oeil.
A sharp shard in your scrambled eggs.


VIRGINIA BELL is the author of From the Belly (Sibling Rivalry Press 2012). Her poetry is forthcoming in the anthology 50/50: Poems and Translations by Women Over Fifty and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her poems and personal essays have also appeared in Hypertext Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Rogue Agent, Gargoyle, Cider Press Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Poet Lore, and other journals and anthologies. She was a finalist for the Lamar York Prize in Creative Nonfiction and she is a Senior Editor with RHINO Poetry, an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago and the Chicago High School for the Arts, and the recipient of a Ragdale Foundation residency. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. You can learn more about her work at www.virginia-bell.com.

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