Juliet Cook
This one is not a still-life, but it might as well be
because I'm trapped inside
this battered bisque pate; these googly eyes
tilted sideways.  Stuck off-kilter.

Whirring around me like a machinated halo,
the constantly circling steel molds
mass produce another batch of prettier,
smoother, more seamless heads

and everyone buys them.  Everyone wants
to lick them, kiss them, affix them
to the latest sexy bed springs.
The latest seductive mattress coverings.

The paint is flaking off my lips.
It looks like dried blood.  It looks like shit.
Even my hissy fits are unglossy.
Even the doll hospital won't touch me

no matter how I plead for them to reset my eyes.
My voice is a wan green mushy pea squishing past
these gold-shellacked wish bones I'm choking on.
These chloroform-soaked apricot cookies

with their dainty scalloped edges
and poison-saturated centers.
They have numbed my tongue.
They have fractured my cranium.

They have brainwashed me into obsolescence.
Read Juliet Cook's Cakeways
poems in the print issue.