In case you think that formal poetry is over, A. E. Stallings is able to write poems on contemporary themes using form and rhyme. To wit, a sonnet about bedbugs. Or is it?
Bedbugs in Marriage Bed
Maybe it’s best to burn the whole thing down,
The framework with its secret joineries.
Every morning, check the sheets for blood
As though for tiny lost virginities,
Or murder itself distilled into a drop.
It might take lighter fluid to make it stop:
Maybe it’s best to just give up and move.
Every morning, check the seem of seams.
Nothing for weeks, for months, but still you frown:
You still wake up at half-past dawn each day
When darkness blanches and the stars go grey.
Who knows what eggs are laid deep in your dreams
Hatching like doubts. They’re gone, but not for good:
They are the negatives you cannot prove.
A. E. Stallings, from LIKE, Farrar, Strauss & Girous