After Leafing Through a High Fashion Magazine

Why do I flip open
this high fashion magazine?
I have work to do. Soon,
my boss might
tap my shoulder. Still,
my eyelids lower. I’ve been hypnotized
by a spread’s painted skin.

I feast on cheeks.
Perfume samples spill like a prank.
A pungent postcard bouquet.
Thinly sheathed bones arch. Each notch begs touch.

The idea of a gown veils her gaze:
Lolita pouts like a privileged pet punished
for driving her Merry-Go-Round
into the Taj Mahal.
But she is forgiven! (she is so thin)
and love is the secret
the dolls in the storefront conceal.

Flawless Flesh Fresh from the Factory … continued, pg. 203.

Only stomachs disobey, growling like felines whose claws itch.
Smooth cheeks moon a body-hanger.
Big-ticket silks float above the spit-shine.

I remember afternoons at the drugstore,
9 years old, my dramatic spray of bangs,
an early sketch of a female human being.
Indian-style on the cold, hard tile
I pinched fashion magazines off the rack,
thick as inches surrounding my hips.
Images invaded me and I wanted a conqueror.

Clearly, these are the women men love:
cleavage piled into embroidery, duck lips pursed for the F-stop,
waists like banana peels,
the fruit flew out of the limousine window
into the fanned fingers of Grecian marble statues
who caught and threw it into the trash,
you won’t be needing that …

What a laugh
my mirror’s reflection
after leafing through the high fashion magazines.
I deemed myself a damaged example
in comparison to these prized specimens.
I likened myself to a weed,
became fluent in mathematics of comparison,
knew all the words to, if I only was

20 years later, I’m still drawn to this theater
starring girl-fragments who waddle
one spiked heel in front of the other.
Millionaire innocents idle as purebreds.
The hunger of the hunted and the hunter.

Areolas perk, presented on silver,
only spoons confess their desire
for a little kindness. For permission to speak.
A person longs to reconstruct herself,
return her brain back inside of her glittered skull.

I slip my hand around the bitten fingernails
of my inner 9 year old,
lost in this fantasy.
Set her voice at an audible frequency,
ask her to close the pages of the high fashion magazine,
give her a good book to stimulate her wild mind,
bring her to the breathing fields
when the only mirror around for miles
ripples on the lake and embraces us
when we dive in.   



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