Multiple Choice

Shrode Heil / Shrode Hargis and Kathleen Heil


My source material is always
secondary. So the downward slide
of your lips might refer to mornings

beyond their base. See the flowers
along the hill? Are they irises?
Inside your eyes are many days

of expectation and regret that I match
with vanity and friendship, depending
on the day. I’ll see that card with

a Joker on it. How great to be a student
again, eyeing a teacher who is wholly
desirable. We’ll choose the discount

provided and reclaim our ideas about beauty
at the picket lines. I find black
Fridays to be media-friendly

but not for us. When I think about
the important people in my life
who are much older then me

being buried, it makes me want
to talk to their younger selves,
or to myself, as I wish us to be,

ever-present oh, vanity. You know I find
our mule-like ways inevitable, that we
are only what we have to be,

that is: us. Us is a frightful pronoun
because it implies a gluey union
past the alphabet we agreed upon.


Shrode Heil is the collaborative pen name of the writers Shrode Hargis and Kathleen Heil. Shrode’s work has appeared in Harvard Review, Bat City Review, Cream City Review, and elsewhere. Heil’s work has appeared in BOMB, The Collagist, and Diagram, among others. Their collaborative work can be found in Poor Claudia: Phoneme and Third Coast.




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