Monica Sharp

Monica lives in Florence, Italy. Her international spirit travels with an American passport and adores languages and literature. She can’t shake loose those late-sleep dreams. She moonlights as a legal worker when not parenting, project managing, and writing. In 2023, her work has appeared in Across the Margin (Asheville, NC), Writer’s Block (Amsterdam), Mediterranean Poetry, The Florentine, Rome-ing: Firenze, and the Bosphorus Review of Books, in addition to Fevers of the Mind (2021), Adamah (2021-2022), and Synapse. She currently edits poetry for Open Doors Review. Find out more at


Click down, click in,
Like a lover, wanting, wanting.
Like a memory, 
Not to impress someone or something 
But to make an impression, 
Pressed like a longing that never fades.

You saw the world as it really is, and it surprised you.
Or, you finally understood the world as it really is for you. 
This surprised you even more 
Woke you up, caught you. 
Down and inside you, like letterpress. 
Trace like braille. It means nothing. 
The lyrics aren't perfect
But someone wants to say something different. 
That's still strong.

They dispose of their feelings:
Warmer, heavier, more space. 
Sometimes I fear my son
Who left things so easily
Impressed on no one but his mother and sister.
A friendly and ferocious ghost of a child.

When I was a child, I wanted to impress. 
I wanted to push, push, push, every person and time, 
To be remembered, even as landscape and scenery 
Changed every year with moves, friends, schools, houses. 
A tugging suspicion: 
I annoyed people who don’t need to impress:
Their families, homes and towns. 
But who am I, vulnerable against the earth, 
Following my parents and brothers as my father 
Traced capitalist footsteps?

Is it possible that my legs were heavy with effort 
Despite being a little girl, 
Whose gender, age, type of person 
Could be so easily erased and forgotten? 
This thought horrified me. 

I would find the heart of the heart, 
Mark it with a look or a word.
Each new school a new canvas, each new house a printing house
From whose windows I threw out inserts of printed poems.

You should have remembered me. 
It would have been printed on them, them, them. 

XI. Behind

What we first saw
Shiny purple bursts exploded
Silk petals background
Early spring fireworks
The colored powder is in a preliminary plan
After the winter did not happen

The fruit is filled first with worms, and then with flies
Then other insects. Inedible.
I tried to bake with her soft culture
My heart sank in the stinking mud
Shoot a lion

We don't know in June
Move over later
Those flowers, brown in the sun, faded into memory
New people now live in our house

Maybe they already know

They will welcome flowers with a lullaby
Compliment peaches and plums
They will feel betrayed under the pretense of fruits
Those pathetic trees could barely stand up
Giving only a sick ball here and there
Whatever is left, the squirrels quickly gobbled it up
Peach pits lined the fence like small skulls

I will remember the delicate, pale, fluttering petals
I wouldn't miss that hard fruit, it is
Space Peach Promise.

(The Oklahoma City airport gave my last flight out a thumbs-up.)

Poet’s Lament

Listen, I've been on a long journey lately
It makes me want to sleep here
Sing me a pretty song
This is no place to drown tears.

I will meet him hand in hand
He is calm and quiet 
I thank him for his words 
He comes out from behind the curtain.

I have a book in my pocket
I read it when the weather is blue
We married in another life but
They suggested different clothes.

It didn't take long. Life is not far
And ended sooner than we feared.
I will write you words from time to time
Your widow: secret Shakespeare.

In memory of Jay Gerald Porter, 1973-2021

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