Two Poems By Barbara Genova

demons enter the picture from the right 

where I’m from, there used to be another name for the bridge 

they called it devil’s bridge 

your average bit of scare lore – there was a brothel on the other side

so it was good to keep wives/daughters away after dusk 

or maybe: 

whoever built it made a deal with the devil 

for the spine architecture to hold 

still nobody said the name for this many decades 

now it’s all  guys check that out the devil’s bridge woo 

because the village was on tv or something 

or the internet, I only know 

zero as above so below can commence if you bring kids into the mix 

unless I can eat those 

unless, unless, I can haunt the living daylights out of your phones 




we’ll see you at home

blonde walks into a time machine (take two) 

riddle me this: i have a very distinctive everything 

that’s what i would have told you, had you asked, but you did not and that’s the reason i liked you better at first, occupational humor is lost on the man who gives nothing away for a living, game, i swallowed a mountain of ash for every blunt question you had 

we were talking about de-radicalization and rewiring your brain after a number of extreme events, i  figured you could use a breather, i wanted to move through the screen, so i pulled a silver dollar right out of my brain, never-seen, never-released cut scene coming in hot from my room to your handsome preacher face 

i said: 

once i bailed on work and i went to a downtown multiplex for a matinee of happy death day 2u 

and of course: instant gaggle of manicured, contoured multiplex teens, getting all twitchy in their seats 

not because they’d recognized me, but as a pure gut reaction to the unknown, a blink/nod/whisper – why is this adult woman up in here with us what is this what’s her deal this is gross do we leave? does she leave? oh god are we gonna be safe here? 

now, the kicker: i had been in the exact same position as a child maybe two blocks away 

down to the monster clothes [this is, uhh, a sweater] worn by the mystery blonde catching a horror show in the afternoon 

and i caught myself before i started explaining / 

/ alright teenage predators, listen up: it’s ok, sometimes the adult brain quits on you, therefore, a person might leave the house, in the middle of the afternoon, hoping to see a slasher flick, 

but i am one of you! 

if you used to be rail thin, you would still feel the urge to walk between the bars of a gate / 

and you can’t have this conversation! there’s no way you can say that as a stranger to kids in a movie theater, where would you even start, and yes, you would be kind of proving a general point here about the mentally ill, yes? 

and you laughed 

a great sharp bark of a laugh 

straight from the chest 

god i love you

Barbara Genova is the pen name of a public woman who changed her mind. She lives somewhere. 

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