Until I think You Mean It



Until I Think You Mean It

by Shane Douglas Keene

it’s okay to wallow in your suffering, to sin in your
scars, just do us a favor, yeah?
keep the bleeding to a minimum, or at least
well hidden


these words are all you really
need, the seed
you thought of as love
on your thigh dying,
it’s nothing personal;
business as usual, so
just fucking disguise


the blood on your lip, the bruises in your heart,
the crack in your soul; they are empty, the only meaning
resides in a


moment with your ass against the bathroom counter,
legs wrapped around my importance, my
poison seed flowing into you again;

smile until I think you mean it


For Laurel Hightower, my accidental mentor. I think she knows why. 

This poem was inspired in its entirety by Laurel Hightower’s amazing and heartbreaking short horror story, “Though Your Heart is Breaking.” Or rather, I should say, by my reaction to it. It’s an important, courageous, timely, and disturbing look at the harsh realities that can be the female experience. It’s beautiful, and you should go read it if you haven’t yet. In fact, this poem will make a lot more fucking sense if you read the story.

© Shane Douglas Keene – May 17, 2020, Portland, Oregon


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