POETRY – 2 Poems by Shelby Vane



In dream sleep
your body finds my back pressed like a stamp, sticky
against yours. You can go weeks forgetting about me,
like your face wild in my hands like finger-lick like

let me taste. If we still care in 100 years, if we remember
after all that time, I’ll come find you with my boots
laced up my shin skin, scattering the ashes of your name


around your fort in the woods, barred door holding
its shape like a prayer with an empty room inside it.
Even now, if I followed the oil-blackened river


with my barest moments building a nest
of paper & spit inside me, I’d see your ink falling
from the leaves like drop dumplings, and I know


I’d reach you.





Mine, fat-lipped things

with no direction. They are ugly

next to hers; trinkets lost between their cushions,

only to emerge later, flapped and see-thru

and wrapped in skin-smell.

I can’t imagine them any thinner.

They teardrop dangle with their wine-

colored stretch marks against my ribs,

the meat of them: on their own revolution,

grown to stretch the fabric of every blouse,

every bad plan, every silliest thing

slipping below the neckline.

They won’t stay put unless I tell them

to Go, I say, in an exaggerated movement

of fingers and wrists, to the best pair

of lips you’ve ever seen.





Shelby Vane is an MFA candidate at Chatham University and has had poems published in Softblow, The Summerset Review, and PIF Magazine, among others.



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