Stefanie Botelho

Vanity Salute

I pull on fishnet gauntlets.
Stella stretches on ruby red
           grapefruit lips.
I pluck stars from the cosmos to glimmer over
           each hole in each gauntlet,
dressed for the end
of the night which begins
with a hope, to end
in Stella.

Fans whirl Stella’s hair over
our faces in bed. Desire
overcame fear.
Desire needs to stem from fear,
as desire is the need to own
something foreign,
and to fear
the foreign unknown
is a self-defense mechanism.
To desire
is to abandon
this stubborn self-defense.
Blades of the fan chop into Stella’s hair
to tsunami strands over
my bed, pillow, bathtub.
Stella blows out oh wow
as I wash onto shore.
Rain from the tsunami almost
fanned Stella out.
I arrange her limbs to dry
to sleep under sheets.

Stefanie Botelho is a trade journalist and poet, working and living in the Northeast. Her poetry appeared in Sentence, Slipstream Press, Connecticut River Review and other outlets.