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For Her Villain
Grace Bauer

The time that she wastes missing him is hell,
though no one banks a fire that has grown cold.
And so she thinks she'll write this villanelle.

Though forms are things she doesn't handle well
she thinks that forcing pain into a mold
of verse might help free her from the hell

of missing him. If only she could tell
the truth from all the lies that have been told
and make sense of it in this villanelle

her heart might open like a prison cell
and she might be released from the long hold
he's had on her. Not holding him is hell.

She tries to tell herself it's just as well.
That even if love could be bought and sold
it would cost her more than this cheap villanelle.

In this vignette, she plays the helpless Nell
tied to the tracks or stranded in the cold.
And like a dark-eyed demon straight from hell
he plays the villain. Here's his villanelle.

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