Dana Guthrie Martin
being around you
is like swallowing a pill
a tree stands
in the woods —
she ate the apple —
our house has
quit rummaging around
for my breasts
doesn't exactly announce its presence
muttering is a way
to make the nonsensical
To my prepubescent pudenda
Pudenda, you hide between soft inner thighs.
Pudenda, you house the knobby clitoris.
Pudenda, you bloom like a flower, though an ugly one,
the one no one ever picks, or even stops to look at.
Ugly flower, innocent as the first boy takes you
in hand, tries to make some sense of you, won't stop
until you weep against his palm.
Pudenda, your labia minora lie there like a dead
moth's thick wings. If sliced off, no one
would miss them, especially the boy,
who didn't even look to see what his hand had netted.
The boy has never felt anything quite like you before,
has only seen your kind in pornographic movies,
where the pussies are prettied up and shaven clean
to resemble folded appetizers served in fancy restaurants.
Pudenda, your panties lie on the floor afterward,
pushed into a pile of dirty laundry.
Pudenda, nothing is different than it was.
oh, my rebellious body
With the new day, my body
has turned hostile. Even my fingernails
have it out for me. My lips make shapes
I find ugly and embarrassing. My nose
can't shake the smell of turnips.
My ears have started plotting
to take control of my head.
Everything tastes like Mondays.
Why can't I be Oprah in a girdle?
Her body always behaves,
unless she's wearing yellow. I think I lost
my foot, the single leg of impatient
seconds twitching. Running late
leads to percussive elbows.
Where'd I put my thingamabob?
Time to saddle up my donkey,
if my ass will cooperate.
Passing a mirror, I catch a glimpse of my
tangled breasts. The bra will set them straight.
¿En dónde están mis pantalones flacos,
My hands never fail to materialize.
My body and I always handle these incidents
gingerly and without witness.
What we talk about while the TV's on
You mistake a whipped-cream commercial
for an insertable foaming feminine-hygiene product
and I talk about how some people are into that,
like with Pop Rocks or Pixie Sticks,
or even masturbating with popsicles,
and you say "That's gross,
I don't want to taste any sugary foods
while I'm down there performing
my fancy oral-theatrics on your naughty bits,
thanks very much," and I shrug
then say "I dunno, some people
want their genitalia sweetened up
I guess, like pocket-sized candies,
and can you really blame them?"
Afterward, I held your hand, still warm, in mine
What was it you came for,
the loamy feel of my body below yours?
The way you pushed your hand inside me
until you could nearly feel my cervix?
How hot I must have felt
How much like home