Shontay Luna

Link to home pageLink to current issueLink to back issuesLink to information about the magazineLink to submission guidelinesSend email to

What Women Do

One - Push forward,
keep going, get through
the day. Everyday. Get through the list.
Do what needs to be done.

Two - I started keeping ibuprofen
in my purse, taking it at any given
moment like they were breath mints.
But I wouldn’t have to keep taking
them if the pain didn’t keep coming
back. So I keep taking them.
Hurry up pain.
And go away.

Three – Quitting time, yay! Gonna go
home and lay down. Take more pills
before doing so. Tomorrow buy
groceries on the way home.
Can’t run out of anything
and the house isn’t going to clean

Four - Laying still in bed and still taking
pills but they’re not working!
It’s gotten worse!
I can barely walk!

Dear God!

What’s wrong with me?!
What’s wrong with me?!
What’s wrong with me?!

For The Moon 11/30/20

My best friend shines
upon me, each late
hour. As I eagerly
await the measured moments
after dusk. When my true
soul can emerge, unbound from
domestic and societal restraints.
See me through the window,
as time dances around me.
The drink gets stronger,
the music gets louder as my
head fills with fantasies real and
imagined. But mostly with the latter,
because they’re my favorites. There’s
a full moon out tonight, his glow
embellishing my skin on the rooftop.
In ways the Sun never could.

My Initial Plan to Survive Covid

Drink my way through it, the most
painless way of getting through it.
In my brain, encased in a skull
of foolishness, the plan seemed
solid in theory. Initiate my newest
hobby of possessing a stocked
liquor cabinet with an array of
multi-hued glassware standing
in liquid solidarity. Switching
between wine and hard liquor
alternately, my worst moment
came when I actually convinced
myself that getting cirrhosis of
the liver would actually be
better than getting COVID.

Then, I got it. So the
drinking had to cease.
I’m fearless, but not when it
comes to mixing medication
and alcohol. As I laid in bed,
my most profound relationship
formed between me and my
bed linen. As I was immersed
in the worst type of feeling
besides my sickness. The
desire of wanting to drink,
but can’t. Bewildered by the
fact that when it all started,
I had the audacity to believe
I’d make it through unscathed.


Shontay Luna is the author of Reflections of a Project Girl,
Recollections & Dreams, and To James & Sarah with Love:
Poetry based on slang of 1920s through 1940s.