Three Poems By Shanna Compton

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

Sometime I’ll perfect my adoration.

Here, let me practice:
For you I’ll lose every button.
and give up one of my pillows.

You know the way we say
it’s only money
it’s only food
it’s only Sunday at 4:00?

There’s still time.
And we’re still in the skinflint sheets
of a place we’d rather not be,
languid among no-account debris

trying halfway to understand
the guy from the sports bar
and his pharmacy scam, in case
it would make a good movie.

I’ll pretend to miss the day we met
if you can try not so much to mind
the piercing when we go wrong,
foaming in the evening, toxic refraction,

to baffle some diminishing sun into
peach-rust-gold derivatives, innate lame
screensaver that (we can’t help ourselves)
gongs inside us anyway in bold-banged time

abashing abashing abashing.

Inadequate Response to the Decade

Resentful of this,
a feeling put on
(put upon by)
a climate of thought.

But nobody wears cloaks anymore
so the metaphor becomes a mothball
nobody uses anymore either.

That afternoon, you stopped in
ones and twos
as I opened the door
and opened it
and checked up and down the street.

Agonized the knuckles,
absently. Checking the phones,
turning off and on
everything in the house.

You were each
dusty and poundeyed
after hiking the Queensboro

until we gathered
(and heard from Susanne)
a collection of bottles
a television nobody wanted to watch
a tart of frozen figs from Vinny’s backyard

our backs to the gleaming plate
of that vile window.

Left to Learn

In our off-season we booked a cabin
on a boat and headed to an island
off the coast of somewhere.

I climbed out front to watch the waves
while you made yourself at home
on the decks, catching up on your reading.

When we arrived, the locals, a burble
of children in red tee shirts and shiny bangs,
presented us with a chest of props

and wished us welcome. I found the stage
at the center of town and clomped around on it.
You stood to the side, holding my purse.

At some point I pushed a dresser
up a flight of stairs, then came back to find you
dancing with a pair of swords and a satin sheet.

I didn’t know you could that.
I assumed you’d learned it in Japan.

Shanna Compton’s books include Down Spooky, For Girls & Others, and Gamers. She’s currently at work on her third poetry collection, with recent pieces appearing in

Eoagh, Ducts, No Tell Motel, and Court Green. She lives on the internet at

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