“Villanelle: Warning” by Elline Lipkin


Villanelle: Warning

Screen will not stop child
from falling out window.
Keep child
away from open window.

Outside, the year falls from June’s window
ripe as the month’s four letters, something to squeeze or squinch.
While far away from the open window
each distant month is a field of ambered grey, of violet dusk.

Ripe as June, summer’s throat opens  
unscreened against what waits and falls: a whisk of hours pressed
to violet dust, ambered words cast from distant months
where a child still left in a far field waits

to be called in. Pressed against a screen of wanting
the child will keep. Words are borne through this sieve,
amethysts waiting in a far field, carried by the child,
unscreened, who will not be stopped, whose hands will not unbloom.


Elline Lipkin

Elline Lipkin is the current Poet Laureate of Altadena. She is the author of The Errant Thread, a book of poems chosen by Eavan Boland for the Kore Press First Book Award. Also the author of the nonfiction book, Girls' Studies, she is affiliated with UCLA's Center for the Study of Women as a Research Scholar and teaches for Scripps College in the fall and for Writing Workshops Los Angeles year-round.

Photo Credit: Emma Wollenweber