Shelby Curran – my battle scars are pink

Shelby Curran

my battle scars are pink

if you tear this temple to pieces
i will crawl out from under ruin
ascending beneath
smooth stone blocks of ashlar
to be cut by the stone of our history
is nothing new

i. a good girl’s studio apartment, near union square
she pours me a glass of rose
in early morning
i’ll throw up shades of pink
            same color of her lips
            after red lipstick rubs off where i’ve kissed her
wrenching myself of inhaling someone else’s breath

how cold her body is
lying next to me
& there are several weeks until winter

ii. on a bench, south seaport
we talk about
“materialistic consumerism”
counting dogs that walk by
            sometimes you get lucky:
            the black labrador
            knows his way to the dog park
            as if that wasn’t enough
            when he gets there, he plays nice
hiding cans of spiked iced tea
from the security guard
like high schoolers hiding underneath bleachers
            afraid to tell our preppy boyfriends
            that we like each other’s bodies more
neon lights from the “open” sign
of the taco truck across the street
paint pink across her face
same color as my insides

iii. in my room, trying not to be on top
she bought me a glittery pink pen
because i said a month ago
that editing in black and white was “devastating”
now i cross out
everything that’s wrong
with the color of her lips

her thumbs have pin-sized holes
from sewing muslin dresses
she doesn’t know i only hold her hand
to find my way into someone’s bloodstream

“i just want to dance with you”
says whiskey, not tongue
underneath a disco ball
in the east village
as if she’s trying to be anything more than a poem


Shelby Curran is a 21-year-old writer working in publishing in New York City. She graduated from Florida State University, where she studied English: Editing, Writing, and Media. Her poetry has appeared in South85 Journal, Snapdragon Journal, Pano Ply (Editor’s Choice), and elsewhere. Additionally, her personal essays have been featured in The Miami Herald, Elite Daily, them., and more.

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