Shelby Hartness

Happy Birthday

“The first of June; and I’m free!”—Louisa May Alcott

It’s not nice

how you wouldn’t

kiss me that day

or that one, or the other

when I gave you

two blowjobs

after the party

I hosted

for your mother.

I lived at your house

for two years!

We broke up &

you decided

we were never


How inconsiderate

& boring!

I used to flirt with

other people! Sorry!

It’s fun to be cute

& young.

Next week

I turn 26

& no one

will kiss me

on the internet.

Like this balance

between memory

& the present tense

is nothing

but a ribbon

loosely fit.

Will you hear it?

The sound of her

laughing as she

ties back my hair.

Shelby Hartness is a writer and poet based in Northern California. Her work has appeared in des pair, passerby, The Skirt Chronicles, SPECTRA poets, Witch Craft Mag & WONDER, among others.