here lies two poems by Nancy Botta

A heart

On a Sunday evening
she noticed mold growing
within the divots and cracks
of this old rotted thing

plucked from her chest
by her own hand
she buried it in the trash
alongside burnt letters
and bad eggs,
muttering to herself
that it was too rancid
to keep.

Bad habit

Trigger Warning: themes of self harm

(I don’t know how I got here,

surrounded by temperance and emptiness)

old habits slide under clothes

and explore cross-stitched hips,

looking for new canvas to stipple

with flesh-wounds and rusted guilt;

(but one day I woke up unraveling,

thoroughly done with all this cleanliness)

angry compulsions knock around my head

under a hail of calcified shit,

like the pebble in my shoe

or a weeping scab on my lip;

(so I unsheathed the knives and got to work,

stripping myself of mercy and forgiveness).


Nancy Botta lives just outside of Chicago, Illinois with her husband, son, and a menagerie of tropical fish. She works for corporate America and has been previously published in WINK: Writers in the Know, Soft Cartel, Three Lines Poetry, Furtive Dalliance, Haiku Journal, Cough Syrup Magazine, and several other publications. The rest of her poetry can be found at

Follow her on instagram and twitter.

Sophia Mihailidis