MARISSA HIGGINS


Marissa Higgins' poetry has appeared in Apogee, Rogue Agent, and
Bone Bouquet. These poems are part of her forthcoming chapbook,
Shopgirls, which explores queer female sexuality, the commodification
of the body, and domination.






On Weigh-Ins and Wanting

Your elbows are looking mighty
fine today
, the salesgirl said,
measuring tape in hand,

numbers more legitimate
than the eye. I thanked her

and cracked one
off, careful to split
below my brachialis.

I've learned how to preserve
what remains, not young enough

now to fracture.
My attempts to please
are slow.

I miss eye-work days,
when the salesgirl sliced my lids,

plucked my lashes
from their stems
to assess in her petri dish.

I got them from my mother,
I whispered once

thinking of where
this body derives.
Oh, she said, they weigh two ounces

each
. Not having an elbow
is funny, you know, I can't

straighten
or bend
or break

but my fingers,
they reach,

they reach.






On The Anticipation Of Touch

my salesgirl suspends me
from a hanger meant
for skirts or narrow
people

ankles to shoulder
my stomach ripples once
mostly skin and a little bit
of fat, i want her

to say that she missed
those cells remaining
from girlhood, pre-light
beers, post-ice cream,

she inspects me for agitation,
waits for me to ripen,
soften like a peach retired
at the bottom of my purse

i want her to devour my whole
damn body, mostly
want her to harvest
and scream.






The Feast

Today, the security guard
uses his gun, no bullets,

just length, to still me
in the door, eyes inside out,

anatomy bulging
beneath denim.

I grin like a creature lesser
than giants, smarter than mice

and he motions for me to open
my mouth. My tongue engorged

from shopgirl nibbles, from
gnaws alone in my big white room,

titillates his hope and he lets me pass
through him, surveilling without protecting.






The Dressing Room

My salesgirl dictates
my reflection, no intercom
just her words from
above. In our early days,

her evaluations followed
script: length of hip, agility
of tongue, malleability
of bone. When she loves

me, evaluations bend
my body, always hips
neck, knees, jaw. Today
my mirror is her shadow,

her distance too separate
from anger for me to correct.
We hover in silence,
changelings us both.



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