Gabrielle Tribou

We lost each other 

under the fluorescent night 

of warehouse rafters, 

faces hidden by mouthless masks, 

eyes fast with fear, 


and made homes of walls and corners,

avoided the slouching hallways 

of concrete sand dunes 

and beat-worn trailer parks,

prepared to wait out 

the choreographed nightmare 

we had paid to see, 

the calculated spectacle 

of human sprawl and immensity,

£30 tax-free.


And afterwards, Burger King, 

to share what little we had gleaned: 

rusted scissors in a pond, 

the well-lit moon folding like music 

behind a streak-eyed birthday clown,

all the champagne gone.


And though we never 

traced our names in the oil

of a mechanic’s back

or climbed the metal stairs to Hollywood,

we did keep our masks, 

and wear them, arriving home, 

when we knocked on 

our own apartment doors.  

Gabrielle Tribou is a graduate of Florida State University’s creative writing program where she was the recipient of Florida State University’s John Mackay Shaw Academy of American Poets Undergraduate Award, and a Spotlight Award in Undergraduate Fiction, selected by Pam Houston. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she works as a high school English teacher.