︎︎︎ Shelby Hartness

︎ Mar 7, 2023

the ease with which
soft spot
unhappy with feeling
a brain too disruptive
maraschino floating
her curls in Ratched
notes on the coast
a long pause touches
to the third eye
only a gaze in the mirror
met by theater
screens to make a fool out of you
she thought you felt
the ribbon inside her
bellowing forth
to fill her days again
a walk the wrong way
to Lexi’s room
climbing the wall to fall
back with the horses
on the acupuncture table
fascia somehow releases
his face out of me
sitting there unnamed
still asking for a favor
kind of obsessed
with the touch
i wouldn’t know
how to tell what hurts
all this necessary pain
a crown in the closet
crowded my life fucked
by days of repetition
bending over
for a shoreline
rain on the mirror
inside my feet
the splinter that stayed there
too shy
to say anything
i somehow couldn’t
brush her shoulder
displayed petals
open there in Florida
so much life
used to happen tore off
through torrential weather
treated kindness like a
dark bruise
under the table
thighs felt something
thorn her barrier
not the audience
she wanted
it was snow
it was all the hours
and the sour
taking up space
in the cup holder
not thinking twice
it was Shelley Duvall
in The Shining
the video our only recording
how the girls took a shower
together in the backyard
for you barely a view
and it was her idea
white cloth wasted a pinnacle
it was the way the ceiling
met the curtain and i cared
a great deal
for a face i pressed
the current
i folded the blanket
genuinely fluorescent
and incorrigible
but beautiful
were the lights
on the railing
slept inside an elevator
control booth
until the rose reached
the very top

Shelby Hartness is a writer and poet living in Half Moon Bay, California. Her work has appeared in The Skirt Chronicles, Silver Operation, passerby, WONDER, Des pair quarterly, and D Magazine, among others. shelbyhartness.com

Also by Shelby: Ballerina, OtherwiseMy Girl Is a Lawyer