“The Wall” by Lannie Stabile

Mother. Ravaged. By. Soft. Heart. By. Men. With. Dead. Nails.

Gums. Livers. Fists. Daughter. Witnessed. Weeping. Bruising.

Cowering. Fridge. Bears. Broom. Smile. He. Tried. To. Beat. Her.

Clean. Steered. Us. Into. Oncoming. Traffic. Shook. Hands. With.

Kitten. Neck. Called. Me. Cunt. Asked. Me. To. Piss. For. Him.

Camel. Cigarettes. Mohawk. Vodka. Scents. That. Peel. Skin. From.

My. Bones. Pungent. Dependence. Sweat. Soaked. Sheets. Why. She.

Let. Him. Stay. Hoped. Big. Brother. Would. Defend. Instead. He.

Picked. Up. Tricks. Picked. At. Crusted. Family. Scabs. Picked. On.

Those. Who. Held. Him. New. Phallic. Fear. Always. Afraid. To.

Tell. Him. No. Always. Terrified. He. Would. Ignite. Family. Does.

Not. Betray. Family. Mother. Said. When. I. Dialed. When. Hounds.

Fed. She. Had. Excuses. I. Have. Scars. Steel. Against. My. Back.

His. Minted. Grip. On. My. Arms. He. Forced. Her. To. Arthritic.

Knees. The. Closest. I’ve. Been. To. Insanity. I. Cut. Him. With.

Knuckles. Teeth. Lodged. Inside. Calf. Jaundiced. Oozing. She. Let.

Me. Leave. I. Haven’t. Killed. A. Man. Yet. But. I. Have. Loved.

One. I. Have. Made. My. Mother’s. Excuses. Such. Softness. Such.

Compassionate. Blood.



Lannie Stabile (she/her), a queer Detroiter, often says while some write like a turtleneck sweater, she writes like a Hawaiian shirt. A finalist for the 2019/2020 Glass Chapbook Series and semifinalist for the Button Poetry 2018 Chapbook Contest, Lannie’s first published collection, “Little Masticated Darlings,” is now out with Wild Pressed Books. Individual works are published/forthcoming in Frontier, Entropy, Pidgeonholes, Glass Poetry, and more. Lannie currently holds the position of Managing Editor at Barren Magazine and is a member of the MMPR Collective. She is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee.

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