Piece by Piece in Lakeland

Lannie Stabile

                                                                                                                                                                I thought Florida was good to you. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You became a tall, bronze man 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I could not recognize.
                                                                                                    Six months of manual labor mutilated 
                                                                                     the hulking body you once carried.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Oh, that whittling southern sun.
                                                                                                                                                           But you returned, claiming
                                                                                                                                                                                         our cousin was not good to you.
                                                                                     I assumed he had only cut you down a size.
                                                                                                    When, years later, he was arrested 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       for dismembering and disposing of a man, 
                                                                                                                                                           you said, See? I told you 
                                                                                                                                                                          he was taking me apart, piece by piece.

Lannie Stabile (she/her), a queer Detroiter, is the winner of OutWrite’s 2020 Chapbook Competition in Poetry; the winning chapbook, “Strange Furniture,” is out with Neon Hemlock Press. She is also a back-to-back finalist for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 Glass Chapbook Series and back-to-back semifinalist for the Button Poetry 2018 and 2019 Chapbook Contests. 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.

Twitter: @LannieStabile

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