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The Body


There is of course the cutting of the body.

Lean away from that for a minute. Stand

in the middle of a shack on fabric row

and browse the cardboard bricks wrapped

in lace and taffeta. You can feel the taffeta

like the bustle skirt thrown at you from stage

at the burlesque show. Where you sweat

under orange show lights and notice the ordinary

nature of breasts—watch the sequins swept aside.

The breasts are bags of wine. Your breasts 

are hanging hunks that you often relate to cutting.

Because people you know sometimes cut theirs

off so as not to look like you. You being a bust

and ass and legs that make a man say Ahem,

miss what’re you trying to tell me with those legs?

You’re shocked because your boyfriend fucks

you like a real man, but everyone is looking

at your hormonal fat, your body like a melting

sculpture. So you tie your shoes or lock your bike

and look down and think about the cutting. 

Think that even in another body, even after

that barter with the mud wasp and surgeon,

you would still not be settled. Not just this 

body, but all body. So in the fabric store

the shears make that good sound like rubbing

two nickels together and you’re back 

to the six yards of burlap unfolding 

on the countertop and the body steps away

from cut. Cut. It refuses to be just a body.


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Author Image

Boston Gordon is a poet and writer living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Boston earned their MFA in poetry through Lesley University. They have previously been published in Amethyst Arsenic, The Common Voice, and Word Riot.

Feature image by Christina Ramberg, Influenced, 1975. Acrylic on masonite, 47 x 35 in.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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