Sheri Gabbert – 3 poems 



Pinpoint of yellow covers a blemish,

eyelash primer boosts 3-D mascara

on blended color eyes. Blazing Lava

highlights smiling lips.


Three outfits later, I stand at the mirror,

reflect on each strand of hair

and reasons to be nervous, afraid

of being fat and old and ugly in your eyes.


Five years ago I dated a married man

with the knowledge and consent of his wife.

An offense no one has forgiven,

better to have cheated than to have been

polyamorous in their minds.


Nine years after the divorce, I still dress

for you, not for praise or sex appeal

but to avoid judgement. Caring what you think

a habit after twenty-three years, something

to remind myself I once loved  you.


Arriving at a party too early to make an entrance,

too late to be first, I speak to one of the two

people who still like me and wait for your arrival

wondering what your new wife is wearing,

aware she loved you without my knowledge

or consent.


I force them to say something, one disapproval

at a time, waiting, waiting, waiting …

did I use too much hairspray, too much makeup,

too much, too much, too much and yet

you never come and I spend most of the evening


sitting alone, trying to look relevant and contrite.




Flotsam in the Kitchen Sink


He works, his sons work, his wife walked out.

The boys sleep on sagging floors with protruding nails,

he sleeps on a sofa with cushions that gave up a lifetime ago.


Dreams gurgle from reeking brown water.

Daybreak brings an afflictive sun, spilling over the sides

of the blackened kitchen sink, another day of not enough.


Plunge, pump, push – he forces through crowds,

part of something larger than eight to five and mortgages

on paper thin walls and crumbled stairs.


He lives within the lines. His boys stay within borders

that protect them from stray bullets and bullying gangs

of other boys who also sleep on floors but hide

in chemical dreams, float above the underbelly in reprieve.




Déjà Vu


I would tell you I love you,

if I were the sort to mutter sentimentalities

or to make yesterday’s lover feel guilty.


Instead, I’m going to tell you your new girlfriend

is a cunt. I’ve never used that word

in precisely that way but I’ve always wanted to.


It fits, even if I don’t really understand

why that’s the worst thing we can think of to call

the women who replace us or why we call

ex-boyfriends cocksuckers. 


When we’re in love, cunt and cock sucking

are terrific words packed with possibilities.


And what the fuck?  What do you mean

you don’t feel the same?  As when? Yesterday?


We never know what happened,

those of us who are left when lovers

love someone new or maybe one we always knew

but never imagined would be the one?


And there’s always “a one.” Relationships

never last. Somebody will leave somebody

one way or another, but it doesn’t make it

any easier to know that, specially this evening

after dinner and a movie, when you said We need to talk

and your eyes finished the sentence.




Sheri Gabbert is a substitute teacher living in the Missouri Ozarks with her miniature schnauzer, Rilke. Her work has been published in Moon City Review (2011/2017), new graffiti, The Quotable, Rat’s Ass Review (Love & Ensuing Madness and Such an Ugly Time, issue and anthology), Communicator’s League, Drunk Monkeys, Serving House Journal, 417Magazine, Street Buzz, and The Lawrence County Record. 

By Heavenly Flower Publishing

Bindweed Magazine publishes two anthologies each year: Midsummer Madness and Winter Wonderland. Bindweed is run as a not for profit, labour of love endeavour by an author/poet couple: Leilanie Stewart and Joseph Robert. Bindweed can be found at

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