Bite It

Shelby Dale DeWeese

The product I remember

was maybe called Don’t

Bite It, bright red

circle, line slashing

through, silhouette

of a fingernail with one

jagged nick off the tip.

Every morning a fresh coat

supposed to Pavlov me.

I wish I hated the taste of Bite It more

than I relished the splintering, the growing dots

of copper on my tongue.

A friend noticed the crescent

on my chin, but didn’t know

about the neat piles on my bedside table,

bookshelf, kitchen counter.

Keratin collections,

slivers of myself

tongue-flicked from between teeth,



Shelby Dale DeWeese grew up on a farm in Kentucky, but currently lives and writes in California. She earned her MFA at the University of San Francisco, and her poems have appeared in such publications as Jet Fuel Review, Rust + Moth, and Rag Queen Periodical. When she's not writing, she and a former pirate captain encourage elementary school students to write original stories at 826 Valencia. Find her online at