? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 11

Contest Winners

Millie Tullis

Should:


Winner,

—[SHood] used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions

i.e.,
“Women should know better than to drink (up/with) strangers”

you are hell
o, warm
like childhood sidewalk
picnics in winter like early
kisses, inbetween
my teeth, you fill

me
with new stick
y warmth. Hello,
Hard Touch     are you the same

as hands felt like
velvet under quilts under parents’
kitchens under our new adult-smell: sweat

and drinking, I knew
you loved        me
first sight.

Sweet, the first time
You made you spit
invisible seed
on me, wanted me to clean it up

But I curled up,
buried
the alcohol
college
(and summer, or winter)
the bedroom cut          Like white teeth
Like pictures
of before.

The two touches I remember.
The world loved me twice. Once to hold, once to punch
beneath the wings
of ribs.