Villanelle in Which I Am Torn

I’m inventing a way to quantify love—
it’s the songs playing at pivotal relationship
moments. In the age of Spotify,
this music can resurface on demand,
and with it an auditory history. One flaw
in the method—a March
night, when, walking home down the middle
of the empty, 2 a.m. streets, there was no music playing

—now, by my method, this moment, lacking
music, doesn’t exist, your hand
in my hand an illusion. I’m inventing

a new theory of significance—
give me something to digitize

—even a car alarm would do, even white
noise. Sure, it might obscure our voices, but at least
we could put the night
on replay, send white noise pouring
into my hair, through the 2 a.m. streets, between
cars, between our hands, on repeat.

Isabel Prioleau lives in Charleston, South Carolina. She interns for The Adroit Journal, and you can find her most recent work in The Post and Courier. Isabel was an attendee of the 2018 Juniper Institute for Young Writers and the 2019 Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, and is a member of the Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program’s 2020 cohort.

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