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By Jeanann Verlee

In a humble, godless house
you moved through youth like any girl.
Dolls & other toys, yours,
                                            in parts.

You move through youth like any girl:
pink folds & acres of skin, pawned
                                             in parts.
Don’t recall when your body became

pink folds & acres of skin. Pawned
toes, pelvic bone, pierced nipples.
Don’t recall when your body became
not yours—just currency.

Your toes, pelvic bone, pierced nipples
featured on a fetish site. An agent’s trinket.
Not yours, just currency:
oiled breasts, stiletto’d calves, shimmerlips.

Feature of the fetish sites, agent’s trinket.
His doll & her toys (your
oiled breasts, stiletto’d calves, shimmerlips)
in his humble, godless house.

Added: Tuesday, March 6, 2018  /  Previously published in "Women’s Studies Quarterly," 2017. Used with permission.
Jeanann Verlee
Photo by Alana Melanson.

Jeanann Verlee is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow and the author of Said the Manic to the Muse (Write Bloody Publishing, 2015) and Racing Hummingbirds (2010), which was awarded a silver medal in the Independent Publisher Awards. Her third book, prey, was first runner-up for the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award and will be published by Black Lawrence Press in 2018. She received the Third Coast Poetry Prize and the Sandy Crimmins National Prize, and her work appears in Adroit, BOAAT, Rattle, and BuzzFeed Reader, among others. Verlee has served as poetry editor for various publications, including Union Station Magazine and Winter Tangerine Review, in addition to a number of individual collections. Former director of Urbana Poetry Slam, where she served as writing and performance coach, Verlee performs and facilitates workshops at schools, theatres, libraries, bookstores, and dive bars across North America. She collects tattoos and kisses Rottweilers. She believes in you. Please visit her website.

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