2 by Reba Beauchamp


BODY POEM

When Mickey fucks Minnie must he try hard
searching for an opening in all her skin like black
taffeta, all her drawn-on & filled-in,
does he mistake her yonic mouth for the opening
he wants because it is her only visible hole.
Does he think her tongue like mink,
her eyelashes like flicks of pulp tethered
to two overwhite eggs, her tee-hee-hee unsure
and beautiful because. Her timid cartoonish
laugh a rope of ink & feather. Does Mickey get hard.
Does Minnie touch his thick fat whatever & swoon
or does she think in that moment of how her parts
were slapped on, a set of rules applied to the body
because guys like Mickey, well, it’s not like they know
anything else. When Minnie comes because she can’t
help it does she clutch her dumb chest;
does she clutch her stomach and know no one
sketched the maze inside: the heart, the voicebox, gut.
Does she know when she laughs it’s air pumped
through her jet-dark outline weathering,
does she know she cannot moan, does she know
she cannot fake it, does she imagine for a second
all the things that might fill her: a host of guns smuggled,
ten lobs of cookie dough ice cream, a lifetime of children
she might feed with her wrists. Minnie is bald.
Is Minnie embarrassed by her one bow plunked askew
at headtop, does she wish for hair like a Real Girl,
does she worship its liquid absence. Does she feel
Mickey’s flatness so similar to hers and question
his potency; does she question science & the law
that says man must fuck woman, even when her body
barely exists. Does she wonder who carved her does
she question why she’s lived forty lifetimes without growing
a lick of fur all the while watching history churn,
watching the a-bomb become a hand-held gold detector,
books become screenplays, hands become instruments,
et cetera, she’s in pain but the answer’s in the script:
laugh! and laugh she must. Shucks & garsh, Mickey!
Good god! Minnie remembers the day
the phonograph held its awkward mirror up
against the living, remembers being stuck mid-frame
and hearing Edison’s voice through the clean earthen
jetstream she could not touch, remembers
wondering what her voice might sound like
transmuted and what she would say if she could:
What does blood look like. I feel heavy.
Where’s the addendum confirming it’s okay
for a mouse to yoke a dog to his house red-
mouthed and drooling. At night after Mickey jerks himself
to sleep Minnie feeds Pluto a hunk of angel bread,
it’s the least she can do. She is so tender and kind.
Throw the girl a veil. She wishes her eyelids heaved
with more real feminine personality, wishes she could drive
a car, wants to start a hedge fund, wants a nose ring,
wants so goddamn much.
In no cartoon has anyone ever seen Minnie eat.
When Mickey finishes does she call to his kurt attention
there’s no hole in question to fill, no dish, no fixture
for the white plinth that is her endless hunger,
nothing to suck. Does Minnie watch her husband’s ugly
open mouth contract like an urchin while he sleeps
and sleeps and sleeps. Does she imagine ramming
one rubber fist then the other through it. Does she call
this thought a reckoning. Does she stay awake forever, watching.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

STILL LIFE WITH FOAM & TESTES

In the kitchen two greyhounds in she said
The body only extremities and the record of their becoming /
looking at the dark stain-on-white unfixable for lack of
an identifiable source he said
Because it lacks true
form your kind of grace is intrusive / she said I wasn’t
scared because I could cup you in my hands like a watch /
to lighten the mood she said I held you
accountable, ha ha /
he said Let me comfort for a second this pause
in understanding, throw the animal a flute,
call it bone / she said Here I go again, feeding
our trembling a nob of honey / he said You, tacking
a dove to a pane of glass, nervous / she said from the room I could
hear your body justifying itself but far away / he said
it grew florid before it grew rotten but the texture
and aura were the same / I know this
because I have read it no have read the words
that made it / From the flakes of this great hunk of
skyline: I clad a gallery / and of the glass dusted over,
a river heavy with salt /
Patrons come in droves to soak and thus of course
palliate the body, its symptoms: Two greyhounds in
She said and the fingers like sponges, tasting not


Reba Beauchamp is a poet, musician, performance artist, and founding editor of the biannual online exhibition ADVANCED. She is the winner of the 2014 Wagenheim Literary Award as well as UVa's 2015 Award for Projects in the Arts. Her work has been featured in Gauss PDF, Hysterically Real, Queen Mobs' Tea House, and Two Serious Ladies, among others.



She can be found on twitter @rebabeauchamp.