Meeting Valerie Loveland

I don’t mean actually meeting her,
but her character, her poetic stand-in,
the “I” in her poems
that withstands everything,
goes to war with glass,
ends up with missing bones
and then the doctors!
She bounces back each time
like a once-flattened cartoon
stepping forward to confront
an amok animator.

Her “I” and mine,
met on some  e-journal.
I’d just read Reanimated Somehow.
So, like some idiot who meets
famous comedians and starts
reciting their trademark lines,
I covered  my stand-in’s hair
in windshield shards to let her know
I loved her imagery in “Car Crash.”

By the time both our “I’s”
were published, mine
was bleeding all over
from sloppy editing.
my “I” tried to stay casual
and started wondering aloud
how hers pulled it off,
all the blood scarce,
fitting her like clothing.

She lifted up her arm
with a recent cut from a poem
about taking her cat to the vet.
A smooth and vein-less scrape
you’d find on a dropped doll.

She stopped bleeding some time ago
but still hopes it’s a temporary affliction.

by Chad Parenteau

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