Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.

It was long and sharp and flashed in the sunlight like a mirror or a diamond, or a polished moon hubcap from back in the day. As I swung it around my head, it made a soft swooshing sound. I’d never made shish kabob before, but as I pierced the pieces of cubed red meat I thought about being stabbed, or stabbing a stranger sitting by me on the subway.

I closed my eyes and violently shook my head to exorcise the image. After tonight, I’m going vegetarian. I yelled to my buddy for a beer. I caught it and popped it open. I wondered what my buddy would taste like grilled. As I walked toward him, the world around us dimmed and disappeared. He looked terrified. I held out a piece of meat and said, “Try this! It could be your sister. Ha ha ha!” He didn’t laugh.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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