excerpts from linda, part two

you hide your tattoo underneath your shirt sleeve

as i hide our holding hands underneath the table

my mother insists that you eat her leftover tuna

“it’s her favorite!”

i was really hungry but honestly,

i couldn’t eat rice from the pineapple

because it looked too pretty to fuck up

in the same way your lips compliment your cheekbones

too nicely for me to kiss them, sometimes

i am drinking my sister’s watermelon japanese tea

from the glass bottle

very much wanting to steal it for myself

very much wanting to bend florida’s panhandle

with my dainty doll-like hands

as if to close off all of the distance between us

and create a small pond

for us to send off japanese glass bottles filled to the top

with “be sweet to me” moments and stupid declarations

and after i make this state look like more a tea cup’s handle than a pan’s

you could crack my tired hands

breaking them at the knuckles like a tea cup shattering against a wall

for my hands are made of the same material as

the ones you and my grandmother are drinking out of right now

i am third wheeling a tea party for two

like alice stumbling into something very mad, you are the hatter- i just know it

and my right hand is on the table, adjacent to your cup

the tips of my fingers whispering to it:

“yes i know just how electric it is

to have those lips touch you for even just a second

sipping you until you’re empty”


i would swim from

the east coast of fort lauderdale

to that cinco bayou

you showed me on the map

but I just saw that moby dick movie

and if a white whale swallows me whole

someone else would have to start missing you


drew me a pony named kc

with a daisy in his mouth

i want to color him in

so badly


press down so that the top of the can

becomes one with the bottom

crush it down to a centimeter

and drop it from the stands of

high school bleachers


every voice you hear

is filtered through the sound wave

tattooed on your back

noise is a part of you like that

and you respond

to those that are most similar

to that collection of compressions

to that medium of existence

everything is elastic and refracted to you

even me


Playing free fallin with my six string

Looked over at me

When you sang

“loves horses”

the most perfect thing that ever happened


“you’re low key high maintenance”


the trees covering the magnolia trail

are not shielding us from the rain, after all

and the white sheet we are using as an umbrella

for some reason can’t cover us both, we take turns

the dog leash broke, the sheet is muddy, we can’t find the car

we ruin everything, like, all the time

lips taste like coffee, underneath bent branches

the black dog is the one, in fact, walking us


even over facetime

miles away

you always ask me if I want anything

at the drive thru

that’s just the kind of girl you are


warm milk

s p

i l

l i n g

down your chin


drove ten miles to another pet store

to play with puppies

begging me to “please ask about the australian shepherds”

and letting canine teeth make marks on my car keys


poetic reasons that explain to you why i might have a flat ass:

  1. from sitting too deeply in chairs at every coffee shop in chicago

  2. an ex-best friend was mad at me and cut part of it off when I was asleep

  3. first grade me built a ski slope on my ass for my Barbie dolls

  4. indentations from a horse’s saddle

  5. if each human being is shaped with equal amounts of the earth’s clay, god accidentally used part of my ass to make my “150 layers”


still feel you as if you were riding shot gun

war veterans with phantom limb

we are playing twenty questions and you’re surprised that i counted

following you home

our windshield wipers in sync

Posted by Shelby Curran on Monday 29 February 2016