Lannie Stabile: My Brother was a Bomb & Other Poems

I won’t be able to make it to the cemetery today; I’m lowkey annoyed,

and the concrete faces in black wool remind me of my own skin,

and how I couldn’t bag it and give it away

Haven’t my aunts always told me I look maudlin in dark shades?

Yellow is a better look. If we’re being honest, I want the sun

to split the pines behind the mausoleum, teeter the

doleful gravestones like dominoes, and plow into this buried heart

Hydrogen has always been my color. I’m sure Mom’s straight, white

femur would understand

My Brother Was a Bomb

I surveil his ignition hands,

puckered by bloodline, touch

the memories steep with pain:

when he dunked my head

between swamp jaws,

tucked me into

a Boston Crab in the hotel pool,

drowned himself

in gasoline and struck

a match. And I try to picture

that grinning summer

we jumped

like mullet in and out

of hose-filled barrels,

the hot pavement hissing

as water slapped

in escape. I swam then

with a time bomb, and

called him bubby

because I couldn’t pronounce


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, she is usually working on new chapbook ideas, or, when desperate, on her neglected YA novel. Works are published/forthcoming in Pidgeonholes, Glass Poetry, 8 Poems, Okay Donkey, Honey & Lime, and more. Lannie currently holds the position of Managing Editor at Barren Magazine and is a member of the MMPR Collective. She was thrice nominated for Best of the Net 2019. Twitter handle: @LannieStabile