Isabelle Ylo


I hate to brag, but my boyfriend is fully house-trained.
I can’t take all the credit – when I got him, he already

knew how to cook, clean, and respond when called.
Additionally, he came with: eight button-up shirts,

two sets of bathroom towels, and a high-quality
nonstick pan. He grooms himself, behaves in public,

and vacuums where he sees crumbs. He sits and stays
on the couch to read his books, while I read mine.

Regularly, he asks me how I’m feeling. (I feel fine, if
you’re wondering). I even taught him to bark

at solicitors, lower the toilet seat, and finish any leftovers.
On weekends, we walk to the park. It’s quiet. Peaceful.

You were not house-trained; you scratched at the door,
chewed the wires of my sanity, dug up the worst in

both of us. It’s better, now that I’ve returned you.
Some other girl will catch you by the collar, take

you outside frequently to light your cigarettes, clean
the vomit off her couch. She’ll know exactly what to do;

she’ll teach you how to shake hands, play nice, roll
over. She’ll be so beautiful, you’ll be begging for it. 

Isabelle Ylo grew up and currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in MeniscusSanta Clara Review, and Welter

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