★ ★ ★ ★



when you touch me
I want you to close
your eyes and think

“My god

I love

the way

her skin feels”

I want you to reach for me
consciously and with purpose
but also without thought

or realization that your fingers
are drifting lazily over my body
willow branches brushing against
their own trunk, dusting
the tops of thick, summer grasses

feel the
electricity pass
between neurons
the shock of calloused
fingertips on soft skin
the aftershock of
my departure


i couldn’t count
the days the sun set
over our heads,

the fog of morning
burning off
while we slept
in the dark

it didn’t matter
if the window
opened enough
to let the light in

even in the dark
i could see the curl
of your fingers
around my arm

the way your
lips parted with your
exhaling; the soft
sound of breath

i can picture the position
of your body, a sundial
telling me “don’t move.
not yet. Don’t leave.”

Ten Peach Pits Contain Enough Cyanide To Kill You

I think to myself
“the best part of homeownership
is this private backyard”
and I stretch out on a red towel
that perfectly clashes with my floral bikini

I catch a glimpse of my reflection
in the back door: sweat dripping
from this twisted, wrung out rag,
this pale peach, golden and fuzzy
but velvety soft through the middle

I think about peaches
and their stony hearts
tucked safely inside,
how you want to sink your teeth
into the flesh,

how sticky juice runs off
your chin and into your lap
how the center
of something so
tender and sweet
can destroy you

Isabella J Mansfield loves coffee, music, sarcasm, and is occasionally prone to exaggeration. She writes free-verse poetry about intimacy, anxiety, and the human condition and typically ignores traditional poetry “rules.”

Mansfield’s poetry has been featured by Philosophical Idiot, The Wild Word, And So Yeah and Sad Girl Review, as well as in publications by PoetsIn, Augie’s Bookshelf and Rebel Mountain Press. In 2017, she was a Brittany Noakes Award semi-finalist. She won the 2018 Mark Ritzenhein New Author Award. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, The Hollows of Bone, in 2019. She lives in Howell, MI with her family.


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1 Comment

  1. Mary Anna Kruch

    These poems are so tender and erotic at the same time. Beautiful work, Isabella!

    Mary Anna


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