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.

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

Boston Gordon

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.