Lupercalia by Stephanie L. Harper


Lupercalia by Stephanie L. Harper


Stephanie L. Harper is a Pushcart Prize Nominee, and the author of the chapbook, This Being Done (Finishing Line Press, June 2018). Her poems appear in Slippery Elm, Figroot, Harbinger Asylum, Califragile, Panoply, Isacoustic, Rat’s Ass Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Hillsboro, Oregon with her husband, two teen children, and a cattle dog named Sydney.


Painting by William-Adolphe Bougereau.

Chartreuse by Stephanie L. Harper

Artwork: Chartreuse, by Stephanie L. Harper


Sour-apple-flavored candy

The team color of your alma mater’s rival

A jacket that never gets misplaced

The labial-nasal fricative of choice
for cicadas & fire-flies on a summer’s night

The vaguely perturbing chortle
of that quintessentially hip grandma
who reclaimed her youth through Yoga

The tinkle of that crystal bell
you long ago purchased in Prague for a song

An herbal cold remedy’s fizz

Key-lime pie’s tang

The fizz & the tang of a Midori Sour on the rocks
& the fuzzy socks
that you wouldn’t be caught dead in

The vinyl stool you still covet in your mother’s kitchen
& the satiny ribbon you once got for honorable mention

In other words:
the dessert menu’s less lethal option
for the lactose intolerant on a date



Stephanie L. Harper grew up in California, attended college in Iowa and Germany, completed graduate studies and gave birth to her first child in Wisconsin, and lives with her husband and children in Oregon. Her poems have appeared in Slippery Elm Literary Journal, Rattle Magazine, Ground Fresh Thursday Press, Figroot Press, and elsewhere.