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
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.