“Not a Nice Girl” by Lisa Shirley

Vitriol surges
beneath my skin
and I want to slap everyone
who says, with a smile,
“How’s it going?”and I think
I can sharpen all the knives
with one stroke,
filet the cat
if he crawls in my lap. Perhaps
today I can imagine
peeling off the layers
of skin and muscle,
cracking my father’s rigid
chest, imagine watching
his blood pool
in the middle of the kitchen floor,
imagine I finger paint for him
mandarin red butterflies
across the always clean linoleum.



Lisa Shirley’s poetry has been published in Sidewalks and Mascara Literary Review. She has an MLS from the University of Arizona and an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. She has studied with esteemed writers like Vijay Seshadri, Billy Collins, Tom Lux, and Jack Driscoll. To pay for her poetry habit, Lisa works as a librarian.


"Untitled" by Dawrlin Mejia

“Untitled” by Dawrlin Mejia