| Preorder Redivider Issue 21.2 here |

Broken Villanelle

by Shelby Handler
for J, K, C & S

I wish all my friends lived on the same block.
If it snowed, we’d meet on the corner.
I wish everyone made it out for a wintry walk.

Everyone’s got a key to everyone’s locks,
lets themself in, makes the fireplace warmer,
invites all our friends who live down the block.

I wish all my friends came by, without even a knock,
to giggle & fuss at each other. To nuzzle & murmur
with everyone who made it back, after a wintered walk.

I wish we could all dance inside together, a flock
of romps & bops flying across a kitchen floor where
I don’t have to wish my friends lived on the same block.

We’re so close we touch toes, through holes in our socks.
We’re all living here. Our bare faces glow near
everyone who made it home from that winters-long walk.

I’d make us soup. Blooming broth with salt & small talk.
I wish we could all be together—even as mourners.
I wish everyone made it.
I wish all my friends lived. Full stop.

Shelby Handler is a writer, translator, and educator living in Seattle on Duwamish land. Recent poems have appeared in Poetry, The Journal, and Poetry Northwest, among others.