Sally Wen Mao

Underwear Pastoral

Saline satin. A wavelike cusp. Bare shoulder kissed
by leaf, mother of organdy. In autumn, the grenadier
spills grenadine on a girl’s pale stomach. Slits the hem
of her corsetry. Breaks its whalebone. The inseam

undoes itself. Lingerie, her appendage for performance,
not pleasure. Paillettes. Latticework. The window designs
its titillation. Not a buttress for nudity, the artless hiss.
Somewhere on the road home, she molts, a pale

anaconda. Why is red a lurid color? That it evokes
innards? Belt-leash. The stain hangs its laundry. O cold
netting made of lace, raveling down thigh on burnt
grass. Somewhere a wish chokes under its strap.

 

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