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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