Jillian M. Phillips

ONE RULE FOR LINE BREAKS

Avoid "feminine endings," 
the unaccented syllable. 

I am a woman: 
I have no accent? 
I'm not the last word? 

How depressing  
that I am not a good line 
for even a bad poem. 
Or am I a poem at all? 

Perhaps I am a syllable. 
An unaccented syllable 
in a long, lush word 
only scholars and poets use correctly 

because I am a languorous exercise for the tongue
and the effort I require, 
a satisfying medal for the best mouths. 

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