Shorthand for Flirtationships: 21st Century Edition

Anastasia Stelse

In shorthand, words are written as they are pronounced.  Know is written no, say is written sa, sew is written so (GREGG Shorthand Manual Simplified, 1949).

Anastasia Stelse  is a native of southeastern Wisconsin, the former assistant editor for The Intentional, and a graduate from the MFA program at American University. She is currently pursuing her PhD in creative writing at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poet Lore, Sou’wester, New South, Fairy Tale Review, and Crab Orchard Review, among others.


Uz no nu wrds.  Btr yt, uz no

wrds.  Lng cn b trke.  Sit syd

by syd, fone tukd n bak pckt

set 2 vbrt—a txt frm anothr

now givs d bst imprssn only

wen on vrbt.  H’ll feel d slite

tngl, hs leg brshng ur thi.  H’ll

wndr hu it is, may evn ask—

only smle, put ur hnd on hs

shldr, let ur fngrs spk, ther sft

pattr like smmr rain.