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Self-Portrait as the Abandoned Nest on the Back Porch

Shelly Jones

A hollow oven

of woven pine needles,

thatched with brittle leaves,

a red gift wrap streamer,

a ribbon of blood

in this empty womb

hidden in the dried-out

pots of shriveled annuals

shrunken vines

that I cannot throw away.

Shelly Jones (she/they) is a Professor of English at a small college in upstate New York, where she teaches classes in mythology, folklore, and writing. Her speculative work has been published in Podcastle, New Myths, The Future Fire, and elsewhere. Find them on Twitter @shellyjansen.

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