since then by Francesca J. Sidoti

we have kept our pantry full of deep kisses
stolen maid-butler style hugs meant for spouses.
we have kept our shame voices low on the phone,
a better picture than the real thing. whispers
make weakness clear. We are cracked full in our
shells. Made for everyday wear-and-tear, uniforms
cover it well. I am not the same as before.
please let me erase the tape, scroll back surveillance cams.
we serve separate households. and our beds
have forgiven us in our sleep.

In college I worked at the campus bookstore as well at a stationery store specializing in writing supplies. At the time, the college bookstore was a Barnes & Noble. This was long in the past, but I have maintained an affinity for bookstores, particularly independent bookshops. Every time we go on vacation or a weekend getaway, we seek out the local, interesting offbeat bookstore for an afternoon browse.
My work has been published in Chiron Review, Haight-Ashbury LIterary Journal, South Ash Press, Viet Nam Generation, Connections and other literary magazines; however, this is my first submission in 25 years. I have just recently returned to submitting my work for publication following a 25-year hiatus. As a featured reader I have appeared in bookstores and other venues throughout the US and Canada. I am grateful over the years to have received several awards, most recently the Dorn Space 2021 Poet of the Year

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