Call me Shelly with the jellylip. Sad-Sour Shelly
with hog-tied thighs. Shelly with piss on the tip
of her canines. Always coddled a shine for the dirty.
Call me Shelly the Girl at thirty & don’t wake me
from my shake-dreams. Dogged eye trained on Shelly
the Bite Sleeve, your peek-tongue grin bets you’ll call me
Shelly Broke-Legs, Shelly Moan-Pays, Shelly Tuck-Teeth or else
Whistle-Gum, Shelly Licks-a-Lesson-in-Her-Blood. Fist-turn
the dough of me to Shelly the Grateful. Shelly Sockfull
O’ Change, my head full o’ throwaway names. Turn me down
to the stuffing & call me Shelly No-Face.
Your soft Shelly No-Place. Oh-God-Oh-God-Shelly
who eats up God’s grace. On Shelly the Shoulder
you pray. Shelly the Warm Trap where hope lays.
Rochelle Hurt is the author of a novel in poems, The Rusted City (White Pine, 2014). Her work appears in Best New Poets 2013, Crab Orchard Review, Mid-American Review, The Southeast Review, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere. She is a PhD student in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati.