"Bad Love Poem VII" by Elle Hesse


In which I poach an egg for the first time

and think this is how I love you,

with the enthusiasm of an amateur.

I drink my coffee black,

try to diagnose my failed egg, feathered

white, solid center, think maybe later

you’ll call me up and tell me some peculiar history,

like the sailors working to exhaustion in the storm,

chipping ice from the deck and waves

looming so greatly they only saw

intermittent flashes of the sun. And later

I will crawl into bed alone, and sometimes

a bed is like a tossing ship, and sometimes

storms boil up painful ravenous,

and I am tossed and turning, too. In the night

you might wake me at three AM

to say something other than I love you.

In the night I might climb alone to the crow’s nest

despite thunder, and maybe I will call into the wind,

who’s there and the tornadoes will answer in their roaring way.

I have always loved the romance of tornadoes-

the way they turn the lights down or green

the way they want you to be inside them

the way they know I cannot be trusted

with any small and fragile thing.


Elle Hesse studied theatre as an undergraduate in Wisconsin and completed her MFA in poetry from the University of New Hampshire in 2012. She is a poet and illustrator who enjoys making comics and currently lives in the Bay Area, California. Her work has appeared in Paper Darts Magazine, Cider Press Review, Blue Collar Review, and elsewhere. You can find her @Sundog_Hooray on Twitter.

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