Flammable Rabbits of Stockholm

This poem won First place in the 2012 2-Day Poem Contest

What this party needs is the twentieth century:

remember me? This is not a story. A Reuters scoop and grim

 

retorts, anti-polymer, pro-bunny. Pro-messy

medieval oil paintings, temporary booths selling t-shirts

 

of family crests with rearing, salient bunnies. Reared for

this too-late fame, for the glory of the close-up. Their rabbiting

 

had made them eager to pose: grand entrance, delicate pan,

delicacy. Do the Stockholmites know where their baseboards

 

are buttered? Do they wend pipered by gore to gather at the countdown

clock? Eager or bored and perhaps  there is a special rabbit

 

pelleting apparatus, but this is nothing against the good Swedes.

The obscene intimacy is that we are where they were. Intimacy

 

is what we were doing when we invented pronouns. Do they know?

Do they cross themselves? Will it be beautiful, the towering burn

 

among the refineries in the harbour,  flames abrade the sky

like a wrist? You don’t know what it’s like. Fearsome, they deface

 

the tulips. They shit. Their ears make us feel funny. What this party needs

is a little outrage. The  polite lie, cull, over the shared city: you see

 

what I see. Oh, the comforting mid-disposal tickle of guilt. Already dead,

refusing to die. Does the char coalesce into special rabbit logs?

 

Every year in Stockholm wild rabbits are shot and their bodies burned

for fuel. October rattles up with a garrulous wheeze,

 

stomping for the blur, the tarry runoff. For the white coats of animals

charging forward as the river does. Some bodies will produce unused heat.

 

Of course we cry; death empties us like a hallway. Nothing

happened here.

Published online June 01 2012.

This poem was a winner in CV2’s annual 2-Day Poem Contest. Every April, CV2 challenges players to create a new original poem that uses all 10 words of our choosing. It’s poetry under pressure for prizes, publication, and personal bests. Learn how to sign up for the next 2-Day Poem Contest.


Poetry Only cover image

This piece was published in ‘Poetry Only,’ the Spring 2013 issue of CV2.

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