Carly DeMento


She writes down a phrase. Something about stars. 
I want to warn her: don’t catch their cold in a jar. 

What’s written on an empty sky is perilous.
How a whole life unfurls from a single seed. 

Eat your verbs. When you trust your fresh body
to an ocean you don’t understand, shivers 

are your answer. Gather mismatched blankets
and pile the weight of weightless men on you. 

When you ride home across a hill at midnight, 
your bike moving along its spine, do not think

of what’s moving in the depths of the bay
below. Wonder at the crater lake

floating between your hips, a mass of tangled nebulae,
the lacy chandelier swinging from the roof of your uterus. 

Point to where it hurts, the inexorable pull of the tide, 
pilot whales lost under the bridge, blurry sky maps 

in the whites of their eyes. Don’t look up. Shh. Don’t wish 
on every star bright. Refrain from Latin. Stop uttering 

words you don’t understand. When you read in a book, 
Per aspera ad astra, through hardship to the stars,

don’t yoke your small breasts to distant suns. 
Go to the thrift shop like a normal teen. 

Browse other holey cardigans. Pick out a nice pair 
of pink ovaries. Choose the happy way. 

Carly DeMento’s first word was moon. She is a writer, musician and activist who lives in Encinitas, CA. She holds a BA in Poetry, Music, and Environmental Studies from San Francisco State University and has performed poetry and music nationally and internationally. 


All rights © Carly DeMento