Be vague tomorrow—

a wisp, sliver,
not royal like a mushroom cap.

Prepare your curry dish to be neither glutenous nor gluttonous

Let your tremors squint like a violet’s eye.

To-be or not-to-be compromised
isn’t today’s question
nor a paper-thin flamingo claw,
but your personal-size compass,
albeit an octopus.

“Here’s the thing,” says a conglomerate’s personal-voice.
“Unpeel for us” an offer like Liberty’s Siren on Ellis.

Listen here to your childhood murmurings,
alone and craving answer.

Cashmere hangs in the distance,
somewhere to rub against, like a pocket
trickled with tiny mirrors.


Shira Dentz is the author of five books including SISYPHUSINA (PANK, 2020)—winner of the Eugene Paul Nassar Post-Publication Book Prize 2021—and two chapbooks. Her writing appears widely in venues such as Poetry, American Poetry Review, Cincinnati Review, Iowa Review, New American Writing, Gulf Coast, Love’s Executive Order, Lana Turner, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series (, and NPR. She’s a recipient of awards including an Academy of American Poets’ Prize, Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poem Award, and Poetry Society of America’s Cecil Hemley Memorial Award. Currently, she’s Special Features Editor at Tarpaulin Sky and lives in upstate NY. More about her can be found at


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