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This is the shanty we built by Sandra Yee


because they said we couldn’t. This is the windbreak that failed against the push and shove of our blame. This is the beacon we erected to warn against trust’s crumble into dust. These are the smiles we plastered over the rubble. In my story you wear a crown of barbed wire and guard your heart with nunchucks. I’m the heroine entering your lair naked with naiveté. Bystanders shriek their warnings, but I consider myself charmed. Ruin never looked so good on an ingénue. The soup of the day is blurry hindsight, stock made from a fast-melting glacier. In your story I’m the princess who wanders to your shore in search of baubles and spleens, who eats the artist alive and still finds no end to my hunger. You capture me in grotesque burlesque, unfurling my many scarves in quest for your head on a platter. This is the art of high-gloss deceit, each choice a smiling decoy, a polished gem, a poison sweet. I admit to the sloppy stitches in my story, the tiny teeth loose in their sockets and not at all cautious with their bite. Who said hell is filled with strangers in circles of similar sin. I wager we’ll be neighbors sipping gin flambeaus for all eternity.


Sandra M. Yee lives in Arizona, where she enjoys hiking, camping, and scouring through thrift stores for flirty skirts. Her work has appeared in Lantern Review, Rattle, and TriQuarterly.

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