Please Stand Behind the Yellow Line.

train station

Waiting for the subway, an observation—

There are shadows holding cellphones
on the other-side of pneumatic doors,
we stare through reflections
whispering little hexes,
wondering which dickhead
will elbow their way out first.

© Nancy Botta, 2018


A Stubborn Woman.

black and white black and white branches cloudy

Black frost will break the trees
before I’m done howling,
lichen will cover the earth
before I stop snarling,
cobwebs will blot out the sky
before I pry open my mouth,
and swallow this bitter crow
you insist on serving.

© Nancy Botta, 2018


To Lauren S., from a Facebook comment section.

photo of person typing on computer keyboard

You’re an artful Trixie,
a transgressive Becky,
the basic bitch anima
of cruelty free Vegan Pho,
washed out rainbow hair,
and curated clapbacks—

I never liked your kind,
so combative, so delicate,
so earnest in your woke abnegation,
but you’re clogging up my feed
with your emoji callouts
and performative prattle,
so I hope you don’t mind
that I’ve blocked you,
muted you,
unsubbed you (forever)
on every digital platform,
in every tangible way.

© Nancy Botta, 2018


Mea Culpa.

abstract background black and white board

Knee deep
in a black pool
you dredge up
a string of pearls
for my neck
and a clutch of shells
for my silence
after we danced around
the violence in my heart
and the cruelty of you hands.

© Nancy Botta, 2018


Washing the Dishes.


black and white blur cigar cigarette

A soapy ceramic serving dish
struck the low corner of the wall;

she never liked Toile curtains,
she never liked the look
her father-in-law gave her,
she never liked her blonde dye job,
or the way her husband wants her
to just lay there—

the shards were swept up
after two bitter cigarettes,
and a bit of pillow screaming.

© Nancy Botta, 2018