How You Led the Ambush, Lannie Stabile

(a double acrostic)

Here is how you led the ambush:
one, exposed like two
wounded lips, lying in the raw

detritus of a lawless battlefield.
Only you decided to go

in the middle of a quarter-note I

can’t fling from these music-
less hands. Listen to the bells peel
among the slaughtered aria
we knew

once. A rhythmic ra ta tat tat
fired at a target’s teeth,
flirting with the gash of me.

This is
how you led the ambush: with a wink
eating the lens of a peri-

scope. Did you consider the urn-
kissed soldiers? No,
I bet the self-
nomination came naturally. A thief

on soft soles needs no camo.
Friendly tempo, your bluff,

yet I recognize it anyway.
Of all the ways to
unhinge in this war, I got you.


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 Entropy, Pidgeonholes, Glass Poetry, Okay Donkey, 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.

Lannie Stabile recommends Eric Sirota’s “BLACKCACKLE: INAPPLICABLE DIAGNOSES, PER THE DSM-V.”

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