UNSWERVING I see a wire under my skin. From the top of my underwear inching up my center, a painless stem. I worry I am not real. I worry the wire should be tucked inside, not forcing its way out. I tell myself whether I am human or machine is no one's business. YOUR VULVA NEEDS A SHOUT-OUT Your vulva is hiring a P.R. firm. Your vulva has a low profile. Once, in the 90’s, Ross said “vulva” on Friends, but that was a long time ago, and your vulva never really liked Ross anyway. Your vulva is hiring a lawyer. Think of all the times it was robbed of proper attribution. A girl with an upcoming Brazilian: “I’m getting my vagina waxed!” No, you are not. “I suffer for nothing!” says your vulva, pouting. NO ONE No one should dub themselves motivational. No one should claim they inspire others. I can’t help but imagine these self-proclaimed speaker-saints getting rammed up the ass with a unicorn’s horn. I’d rather converse with a crack addict with a wire cart and a scrunchie. I can’t sit through another solo dance piece about Persephone. In the program notes, the soloist-slash-choreographer will write of Persephone’s great beauty, assuming the audience will never question the self-cast role. FATHER OF THE BRIDE Ingénues stolen in plain sight. Girls, young women assaulted on sunny days. This is the dark routine. Fathers don’t go missing. Your dad’s car will not be abandoned by a hiking trail. He is not the main character. A diabetic man, little insulin. What fairy tale can we compare this to? Can fathers faint? Who wants to steal a father? A tux fitting is not very masculine. Abandoned car pointed in the wrong direction. A needle pricking empty air. The father- daughter dance. We may never know what song he picked out. I'M A BEAST I am a rapper. I rap to my porcelain dolls. I can tell they love my fierce rhymes when they don’t move their eyes. And when they look white. I am fake pregnant. Not to trap a man, but to entertain myself. It makes me feel skinny! I am auditioning to be a puppet. I like to pull my own strings. I wish I was at home pulling my own strings right now. You must sit at least two feet away from me. If you do not sit two feet away from me, I will continue to smell this sharpie marker until you feel so uncomfortable you must leave the room. You will be confused by how turned on you are by my sharpie sniffing. You will shiver with self-hatred.
Meg Johnson is the author of the full length poetry collection, Inappropriate Sleepover (The National Poetry Review Press, 2014) which was a NewPages Editor's Pick. Her second book, The Crimes of Clara Turlington, won the 2015 Vignette Collection Award and is forthcoming from Vine Leaves Press. Her poems have appeared in Hobart, Nashville Review, The Puritan, Painted Bride Quarterly, Sugar House Review, Verse Daily, and others. Meg started dancing at a young age and worked professionally in the performing arts for many years. She is the editor of Dressing Room Poetry Journal and recently received her MFA in creative writing from the NEOMFA Program. She is currently a lecturer at Iowa State University. Her website is: megjohnson.org and she blogs at: megjohnsonmegjohnson.blogspot.com