Lovin Bug Villanelles as Valentines

Art by Suzanne Stryk

Christina Lovin

Some Females Fake Death to Avoid Nasty Suitors

Dragonflies, damselflies, darners, or darters,
meadowhawks, skimmers, snake feeders—regardless,
these females fake death to avoid nasty suitors,

a trick we could use for unwanted ardors.
You’ve been there, I’m sure, girls, when chartless
dragonflies, damselflies, darners, or darters,

grifters, beer-bellied belchers and farters
come at you out of the neon darkness.
Who wouldn’t fake death to avoid nasty suitors

when he wheedles, whines, threatens, and barters
dangerously, though he wants to seem harmless?
Dragonflies, damselflies, darners, or darters

have a plan that is really much smarter:
they don’t act demure or bitchy or heartless,
they simply fake death to avoid nasty suitors.

Forget all those headaches. No need to be martyrs.
Reach deep inside, girls. Your inner bug harness—
dragonflies, damselflies, darners, or darters—
like those females, fake death. Avoid nasty suitors.

Surprisingly the Earthworm has Five Hearts

Surprisingly, the earthworm has five hearts—
some argue that they’re just aortic arches
and more than one heart isn’t very smart,

especially when your love life tears apart 
what kept you living, leaving just a carcass,
surprisingly. The earthworm has five hearts

that no defibrillator could jumpstart
if passion leads to cardiac catharsis,
when more than one heart isn’t very smart.

According to philosopher Descartes:
perfect numbers like perfect men are rarest,
(surprisingly though, earthworms have five hearts)—

echoed by Bacall vis-à-vis Bogart—
though not a worm, he was found heartless
and having no heart isn’t very smart—

or Josephine regarding Bonaparte,
and me, a victim of Amor’s blind archer.
Surprisingly, the earthworm has five hearts
but I’ve learned even one heart isn’t smart.

Tree Lobsters Are Found To Be Not Extinct!

Tree lobsters are found to be not extinct!
Just when we believed they had vanished from earth,
back from the brink these dark phantoms had slinked—

hard exoskeletons toughened, distinct. 
Distinguished in size—in length and in girth—
tree lobsters were found. To be not extinct

takes lots of resolve when life’s indistinct
like our hearts when we parted—fossils unearthed—
not back from the brink. Our dark phantoms slinked

through desolate phases, misery-chinked             
like foundation cracks, extensive in breadth.
Tree lobsters were found to be not extinct

though no one had seen them for decades. I think
it’s surely been longer that we’ve felt this dearth,
backed away from that brink. My dark phantom slinks,

still seeking for you. Let me make this succinct:
Are you still extant? What could it be worth
for love, like tree lobsters, to be not extinct,
and back from the brink have that dim phantom slink? 


Christina Lovin at EIL

Christina Lovin’s ECHO at EIL

Christina Lovin in Birds of a Feather at EIL 

Valentine’s Day 2020 at EIL

An Octopus Love Poem at EIL

More Art by Suzanne Stryk

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