from Small Paintings

Mollye Miller Shehadeh

one story of myself

a paused snout

sniffing plum sky

is important here

the vague sun


each disguise

of mine I lift 

my communal face

it’s so simple

to be tangible

truth tells me

grinding my breast

with her scythe

look at me

I diminish

the very thing

I keep being


I notice small paintings

bristled with pines

above the awkward living

attempting a feeling of loss

I sniff his father’s jacket

filthy with smoke

inhaling some final winter of his

they break into me somehow


a thick slice of snowlight 

         our self-made dark

its turmoil

loiter single file into cigarette

         inhale mountain top

into chemical

skiers scissor below

         drawing themselves

at fifteen all badness

for lunch the manufactured view

         the first terror is to follow

like this no like this


all things become windshield and window and wind

gnarled parking lot trees

the awkward signature

of beauty here

wires and wires

understand the baby now

circular dangling

legs arms

fat star

so perfect we say

each place her eyes arrow

imprinting suns and bulbs

the small lungs

her gunshot throat

living its most private life