Poem: Body Parts
The one gift she gave him that was truly appreciated
was the bottle opener in the shape of a woman,
her arms on hinges, a cork screw between her legs.
I am a woman
I have many functions.
What is there to fear?
I see myself reflected
In your rear view mirror.
You smile as if you know me.
Of course you do,
my body parts are strewn around
your kitchen like utensils.
My stainless steel legs crack nuts at Xmas.
My mouth is a bottle opener.
I can flip your lid with friendly precision
without spilling a drop of that frothing
head of beer.
There is nothing I can’t do.
I stand with my hands over my head
all night, like Atlas
holding up the lamp shade
even when you snore.
I pop out of cuckoo clocks and cakes.
My head adorns the prow of your ship,
the one smacking the dock.
But I will collect myself
piece by piece
until you show me the door –
the peephole, my vagina.
How does one reclaim a hole
and how is it taken in the first place?
You examine me with the professional interest
of a dentist probing a cavity.
Does a hole really exist
unless there’s something around it
to prove it, or inside to fill it up?
Could you repeat the question
if there ever was one?
Remember the flayed breasts of Indian girls
turned into tobacco pouches?
(Pocahontas, licked like a stamp)
Nothing is hypothetical.
Each day we ride out our night mares.
After you pick my brain
you’ll use my skull as an ashtray.
Woman, be grateful
your thighs are not really ivory
or your lips rubies,
that you do not possess
the gall bladder of a bear
or the anal gland of a musk oxen.
How would you escape the reach of the pirate?
you are far too interesting to pass up.
Gather what’s yours.
Disappear before you are declared a museum,
before you become the footstool of God.
“Body Parts” appeared in the author’s first collection, All That Saves Us, Black Moss Press, Windsor, ON, 1998.
(c) Lea Harper, 1998