Quotation Marks

Poetry by Steph Burt
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“ ”

We have a soft spot for drama,
      and for memorization;

we like to share whatever we have been told.
      We liken ourselves to tadpoles, to works-in-progress,

to fishhooks, to earbuds, to loquacious
      teens, and to their vintage Princess phones.

We used to believe that, being so good
      at belatedness, we might never have to get old,

which was our mission, or our curse;
      though our true age is unclear, we have had equivalents

in nearly every civilization,
      both in our efforts at sarcasm and our attempts
at protests. Leave our single sisters alone.

We come in several shapes but are never
      heartless, or pointless, and never entirely straight.

If you ever see just one of us,

“Quotation Marks” has appeared on Twitter and is part of a suite to be published by the Hampden Sydney Poetry Review.