In your tower,
Suspended on expensive plastic rods,
Within strands bound with the bloodcells of bleeding fingers.
You know nothing,
As you lie, spreadeagled,
The hair ripped from your loins
By a stranger,
Who looks upon you
As a medical steak,
And a portfolio,
And $100 from a newspaper story.
As they pull back
The little pink ovals from your fingertips,
Glossy and glittering.
Beneath, they reveal,
The yellowing, fractured calcium
Layered like an onion,
And smelling so
Til they wipe chemicals over it,
Pressing a new nail on
As you notice their naked hands..
As your eyes sting,
Peroxide fumes rising,
Fusing together the plastic hairs upon your eyelids,
That you already cried for once.
Your scalp screams.
And the little man behind you
Pats the burning skin atop your head,
Protected in rubber,
In a falsetto voice
He tells you ‘Honey, you know it’s worth it’
But as your silhouette arches,
Held by a man who also held your heart,
On a TV screen.
Daddy shaking his head,
You’re both crying again.
He gives you the key to the world,
So you can hide til this all blows over.
And you find yourself in the same LA hotel as always,
Cradling your plastic chest in your arms.
We were given about 20 minutes for this writing exercise. I won’t lie, I did add to it as the seminar went on, but the idea and 99% of the poem was devised and written in class I swear :)
I’ll try and include links of the poetry we respond to in writing tasks where available.
Link to Pillar Talk Colette Bryce