I can’t imagine how
it felt to see
light the first time,
only to be met
with strangers whispering
at your pointed feet.
Ugly. Dirty. Degenerate.
Flower of the gutter.

To be forced back
into the darkness of
his apartment until
he died decades later.
It wasn’t your fault.
Art was intended to
merely imitate and some
could never face
their own reality.
Especially one with:
flesh-like wax,
horsehair wig,
satin ribbon,
tulle and gauze
tutu, slippers.
All too real to
idealize the human body
and what it means
to be beautiful.
No one wants to
be reminded of
the brutal beauty
of becoming.
People only want
to see the final
Maybe this is why
you held your shoulders
low and head lifted –
defiant in the face
of disapproval.
My heart breaks for
you. Cast in bronze
at fourteen-years-old.
What does it mean
if you close your
eyes in the face
of splendor?

My body no longer

as if we could lay ourselves down at our own feet /
to mourn, as if we could shuck skin like a snake, slide away /
naked and new, some born-again eve.

Abundant, Useless, & Utterly Mine.

I have never been able to afford a dress that did not smell like death. /
Even the moths lust for cashmere instead of polyester.


i am descendant from women who greet death like brunch. /
i do not know if this is bravery or foolishness.