Words strewn, trail across your bedroom.

You’re embarrassed

by your unmade bed—

used to tying perfect knots

for joints, satin sentences unfold

around your tongue.

I bet we could color code your whole bookshelf.

Spines hell-bent on answers to resolve my questions:

I. At what point can you breathe

in incomplete phrases?

II. Tie a sidewalk together

in misplaced steps?

I’ve been told I think too much.

And in you I’d found my match.

Guessing we’d be tongue-tied, tied-tongues,

I’d misattribute feelings

To my own body, so when yours was gone,

I’d have an index of it.

You’d never write yourself

into something without

a beginning

and an end.


Celia Shea is a writer. If you're in one of her stories, she's probably compared you to something in the sky or the ocean. If she were a dog she's been told she'd be an Afghan pup. If she were a plant she'd be a weeping willow. And if she were an alien, she'd be the kind pretending to be a human. Her poem "Bookends" is one of the first prize winners in the poetry category of our inaugural Short Forms Contest.

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