Detonator: A poem by Valerie Ruberto

By Valerie Ruberto



It’s akin to the structure of two animals, caged;
Content within their confinement while stimulation free,
But when presenting themselves, one another within eye shot,
Each beast erupts; a mammoth display of disorder.
My beast has rested, a decade of docility.
Your hand sleeping on the trigger now;
One button pushed and the walls collapse,
A single touch and no chance of going back.
You’ll be my detonator to disconcert my stubborn world.
My controlled chaos disturbed.
My confined creature let loose.
What havoc he’ll unleash, I do not feign knowledge.
Neither conjecture nor guess can elucidate these shrouded outcomes.
Meticulous mannerisms, all for granted;
Static contact is enzymatic enough.
The friction sending pulses; the wind woke up.
The back porch glow flooding your face,
You’ll detonate me. Ready the beast.

And all the good I’ll do for you;
Your devil dwells dormant in a rib cage Gehenna.
I’m bestowing the beast with a facile exemption.
Your snowflake eyes locking me in place.
A single word enough, my reticent solicitation;
Semantics that can complete and commence blocked off sections on our timelines.
Your orderly operations, strict selfhood withdrawal,
I’m your receptacle, so shovel your dirt.
Throw upon me every guilty gift your mind has addressed to you,
Every thought that’s accompanied you since the day I danced into your life;
For every stolen moment of intrusive eye contact,
For every word dam you’ve erected on your lips.
I’ll be an abeyance to your anguish and you’ll terminate me in return.
I will be your catalyst and you, my chimera man.
My detonator; my enticing incentive.
I’ll be your experiment; your audacious renaissance into a snow globe world.
The taste of it will be enough to liberate our covetous creatures.
The harm they’ll cause; tsk-tsk,
Worth the risk for my new feather-filled chest.

Valerie Ruberto is a student at Tufts University. Over the next few months, she will have three poems published in Rind Literary Magazine, three poems published in Viewfinder Literary Magazine, and more. To read more of her poems, go to

Today’s original artwork was contributed by Melanie Faith.

Melanie Faith likes artistic variety and wears more than a few chapeaux: poet, writer of fiction and nonfiction, educator, photographer, editor, auntie, and craft-article journalist about the writing process. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, with a concentration in poetry from Queens University of Charlotte, N.C., training which influences her photographic interests in the resonance and compression of imagery.  She is an English professor in Southern New Hampshire University’s MA in English program, a tutor at a college-preparatory boarding school, and a freelance writing consultant for Women on Writing! and independent-study students. In the past two years, her photography has been on the cover or featured in Minute Magazine, Chantwood Magazine, OVS Magazine, Peacock Journal, Birmingham Arts Journal, Cargo Literary Journal, and Sandy River Review and is forthcoming from Door is a Jar, as well as appearing as the cover of Jessie Carty’s latest poetry book.  Her historical poetry collection will be published in fall 2017 by FutureCycle Press, and a craft book about writing flash fiction and nonfiction will be published by Vine Leaves Press in spring 2018. She is a winner of the Brain Mill Press Driftless Unsolicited Cover Art Contest and her winning photo will appear on a poetry book cover later this year.  She may be contacted at

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