There is something erotic about dressing the plus-sized mannequin at work
and it’s not her marbled thigh or the way she is collapsible
in my arms. We are the same height. Our gazes touch each other.
My arms around her waist I realize I’ve never held a woman
as wide as I am. Never felt a familiar slope under me.
I undress her slowly. Pull jeans over her. Feel shy. There is
no comic shimmying, no heaving buttons. Only fumbling fingers
under hems and latching a tender clasp. Does she know
I’m wondering what she thinks about all day? Watching dozens
of women size her up, compare her girth, and pray to god
they’ve lost the holiday weight. Pray they won’t fill her clothes
quite as full. Her expression gives nothing up. Her face a soft
undoing of their hopes––she’s never looked better.
I Can’t Stop Telling My Lover About the Time My Father Fell Down the Stairs
My mother and I were in the kitchen when we heard the impacts:
one step at a time––times twelves or thirteen. Each sound
a chance for fracture or bone-split. We found him sprawled
on the dining room floor just fine, just embarrassed
by our rush. My mother sobbed when we saw him, don’t you ever
do that to me again. You hear me? and kissed his head over and over
where the hair was growing thin. Held his face close to hers, almost
roughly, and I felt as though I had seen them naked or newborn
but I couldn’t stop watching, even when my father said Ok. I’m ok.
It’s ok. and I knew I could have left. I tell my lover about this
long before he is my husband. We are lying in bed after making love
for what must be the hundredth time in our one-bedroom
apartment in Ohio. It is dark and I’ve told him this story before.
I shiver into the August swelter. Imagine falling, I keep saying
to the ceiling, imagine falling and breaking someone else.
Roseanna Alice Boswell is a queer poet from Upstate New York. Her work has appeared or will soon appear in: Driftwood Press, Jarfly Magazine,Capulet Magazine, and elsewhere. Her first collection, Hiding in a Thimble, was published with Haverthorn Press in 2021. Find her on Twitter @swellbunny posting about feminism and her love of exclamation marks.