by Brigette Demelo

As an infant,
I would sooner
stop eating
than cry.
Now I try
to chew sand
into pearls.
Oysters and I share such
striking resemblance—
clamped shut until
pried apart.
Those brainless fish
pretty blisters—
thinking underwater
keeps my wet wounds
The mollusk
is the artist.

I’m only hard
shell, soft tongue
no nerves.


Brigitte Demelo (they/she/he): first-generation, spicy, beige, and eager to learn. bound, sustained, light, direct. a hopeless romantic trapped inside of a Bitter Old Queen. six months late, soft-spoken—an over-prepared idealist. the fruitiest boy scout, and a clown with an anxiety disorder. raised on 1970s television and 1980s glam rock. secretly hopes to save the world.