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Kathleen Hellen

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LOVE MISDEMEANORS

by Kathleen Hellen

The adage sentiments the crime.
Hell hath no fury, right?

He’d done you wrong, so you were

Gilda in the role that ruined
Hayworth. You were Scarlett
slapping Rhett.

“Let’s all be manly,” Hepburn said
and she meant it. When Tracy shoved,
she kicked him and they kissed.

No one was confused.
No one was arrested.

If you loved him, if he hurt you,
that relay in your brain to the
amygdala made reason moot.

Even in rehearsals, Davis
slapped Flynn. The vixen Harlow crooned:
“Do it again.”

The Baron slapped Garbo.
Bud slapped the splendor
out of Deanie, fast.

Men slapped women,
women slapped back.

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Kathleen HellenKathleen Hellen is a poet and the author of The Girl Who Loved Mothra (Finishing Line Press, 2010). Awards include the 2012 Washington Writers’ Publishing House Prize in poetry, with her collection, Umberto’s Night, forthcoming. Her work has appeared recently in Barnwood International Poetry Mag, Cimarron Review, The Evansville Review, Harpur Palate, Pedestal, Poemeleon, Poetry Northwest, among others; and was featured on WYPR’s The Signal.

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