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  You could have a big dipper   

We Never by Sheleen McElhinney

Our love was not loud.

We never threw lamps, never

upended the patio furniture

after locking each other out.

We never screamed or cried

or fucked the bed frame to splinters

in apology. We never said, stay,

don’t go. We never said coward,

or, bitch, or fuck you, or please. We never snuck through the window or slammed the car door or got inches too close

to bullseye pupils. Never wrenched

throats or yanked hair or murdered

each other or killed ourselves––

out loud. We did it all

quietly, like the slow climb of bare feet on the stairs, high heels hooked through my thumbs,

closing our door whisper soft, the quiet groan of my weight

in the bed, stiffing our backs

to each other, switchblade

shoulders brandished, slicing

the death between us, til silence

do us part.


Sheleen McElhinney is a poet, baker, robot maker living in Bucks County, Pa with her family. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Whiskey Island Magazine, Dogzplot, and Poetry Is Currency. Her debut book, Every Little Vanishing, was the winner of the Write Bloody Publishing book prize and will be released this October. She tweets @SheleenMc

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