Brooke Schifano


Little Shorts, I bite my lip watching you billow up a breeze. Little Shorts,
you tease. That loose fit. That wide stride. Know you see me over here,

waiting for a peek. Little Shorts, flick the music out your ear when
you see my shadow come up close. Make it look natural—like you meant

to scratch an itch along your throat. Little Shorts, look at what you’re
wearing. Abs baking in the sun like a pack of Hawaiian rolls. Just begging

to be ripped apart. Little Shorts, make sure you smile that tight little smile
when I say hello. You know I only want to see you happy. You know

I’ll follow you down the path until you give me what I want. “Little Shorts!”
I shout from my car, “What kind of scissors for a jaw cut like that?”

“Little Shorts,” I whisper in the park, “How you fit a dick that big
in those little shorts?” Little Shorts, when you listen to the news, do you

think about me? When you hear the story of those little shorts pushed
from the path to the trees? Little Shorts, don’t let me catch you running

after dark. Want to end up like someone’s dirty clothes? Torn off
and left on the side of the road? Little Shorts, cross the street

when you hear my steps loud behind you. Listen close, in case
I cross too. Little Shorts, sharpen your keys and clutch them like knives.

When you’ve got nothing else, go for the eyes. Little Shorts, you know
I could ask for so much more. But I’m just here to even the score.

BROOKE SCHIFANO holds an MFA in poetry from UMass Boston and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Salamander, Sonora Review, Mortar Magazine, and elsewhere. Her visual art was featured in a recent issue of Response, A Journal for New Work.

Read more by Brooke Schifano:

Three poems in Mortar Magazine