Writing Prompt # 12: A List Poem

List poems are a great way to ease into working with poetry forms. There are a lot of ways to write a list poem, so don’t be afraid to tweak this to however best fits your poem. However, you should choose a theme (in this case, I chose people I’ve kissed), and start each line, stanza, or couplet with a new entry to your list (in this case, a name). I chose to start each short 4-5 line stanza with a new name, and also end each of these stanzas with the word “kissing,” which I also used as a running title. I also used assonance and alliteration to build a rhythm. I’m not yet satisfied with the final two lines, I think mainly because they fall away from the “i”/”ee”/”ea” sound rhythm I was building.


Michael in the high beams,
fifteen, and my body lit
up with the soft pressure
of his lips, kissing

Keenan over and over again
in the cold wind, our noses
nuzzling, his hands
under my jacket, seeking
heat, kissing

his ex-girlfriend at a party,
her mouth like vodka,
my fingers in her hair,
was not so different from kissing

my best friend, five years old,
hidden in her closet
with the scent of her skin, eager
and clumsy at this thing
someone told us was love.


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