Bernadette by Erika Jo Brown

Bernadette lights a cigarette,
sighing with regret how love
is like an egret, pecking each
step, a domestic pup zoned
in a zoo one mustn’t repet.
She owed a debt to no one,
she’d been ensnared in said
net, according to most inter-
pretations, though the threat
now was low, like a low heat.

She felt cagey. She ranged,
fretting, this silly brunette.
Considering the chess set
next to the splashy gazette
complacent, a preset duet,
clinical as if by placed by
pipette. Bernadette sipped
a gulp of anisette. From her
kitchenette, she thought she
heard midwestern minarets.

Forget this, thought Claudette,
observing our mousy Bernadette
futzing with her tiny pink barrettes.
On the whole, she was elegant,
parried well without becoming
upset but for pacing and some in-
sipid squats. She shifted, sifting
thru more sober sobriquets. Restless,
she set out across Lafayette, pursuing
the echo-echo of yon silhouette.