Lauren Rindaldi: “Stop Drawing at Me”
Alexis Rhone Fancher
A rite of passage, mother says,
even though I’m prepubescent and
flat as Texas.
The saleswoman at Bullocks Wilshire
measures me across the chest, and again,
just below my breasts.
“30AA,” she declares.
On the box it says “Training Bra.”
A tiny rosebud blossoms in the crisscross
between the “cups,”
made of some stretchy material.
Guaranteed to expand as you did.
What if my breasts never grow?
I stare at my naked chest in the mirror and
contemplate that dismal future.
The saleswoman hooks the bra in back,
sticks my arms through the straps,
eases them over my shoulders.
“Lean into it.” She demonstrates,
bending at the waist,
doing a modified shimmy. “You try.”
The bra rides up above my nipples. And stays there.
In training for what? This is a mistake.
I want out,
but her cool hands restrain me.
She adjusts the straps, eases the fabric down
over my breasts.
“Take a look,” she says.
The fluorescents burn brighter as
I grow incandescent, dream breasts burgeoning.
I watch my nipples
contract beneath the fabric.
The girl in the mirror stands straighter,
settles into the harness, reveling in the outline
it makes against her skin.
The bra embraces me like a boyfriend.
I can see my future, the boy who’ll explore
my geography in the back seat of his car,
his eagerness pressed against me like love.
I hug myself and see
the sudden cleavage I’ve created,
breasts straining against the cloth,
see the sweet havoc in my boyfriend’s eyes as
he cups my voluptuous breasts in his hands,
dives face-first into his salvation.
Alexis Rhone Fancher is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and Other Heart Stab Poems (Sybaritic Press, 2014). Find her poems in Rattle, The MacGuffin, Fjords,Slipstream, H_NGM_N, Bloom Literary Journal, Broadzine, and elsewhere. Her photos have been published worldwide, including the covers of Witness and The Mas Tequila Review. Since 2013 she’s been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes and a Best of The Net award. She is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.www.alexisrhonefancher.com
Lauren Rinaldi creates unbiased portraits of woman’s bodies and uses them as a vehicle to explore ideas and conversations about body image, sexuality and self-Identity. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, she received her BFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art in 2006. She is a painter, illustrator and has worked on various projects with The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Her most recent visual works have been exhibited at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia and Scope Miami Beach – International Contemporary Art Show in Miami. She currently resides in Philadelphia with her husband and son. Laurenrinaldi.com
For National Poetry Month, Les Femmes Folles featured a daily 30/30 challenge to write poetry and prose /make art on the topic of on tales of bras and breasts. Check out the full list of prompts here or follow @LFFBooks on Twitter and Facebook. To celebrate the month of writing and creating, LFF also posted a CFP to feature new work in a special feature of Les Femmes Folles: Tales of Bras and Breasts to run in connection with TALES exhibit in May at Monongalia Art Center, themed around the book, featuring art by TALES artist Lauren Rinaldi, with work by 15 other artists from around the U.S. We received fantastic submissions from writers and artists all over the world. We’ll be sharing this feature with you during the rest of the month. Stay tuned for artful couplings and dynamic duos, and writing that is double trouble, double the fun, and sometimes in double Ds.Also, forthcoming from Les Femmes Folles Books, is a new print anthology that is seeking new work. Deadline September 18, 2015. Bared collects art and poetry on bras and breasts by women writers and women artists. Poets and artists bare their best breasts clad in bras, bare-chested, or both to boast their barbaric yawps in poems, in paint, in pictures, and art. Check out the CFP here or follow @LFFBooks on Twitter and Facebook.
Les Femmes Folles is a volunteer organization founded in 2011 with the mission to support and promote women in all forms, styles and levels of art from around the world with the online journal, print annuals, exhibitions and events; originally inspired by artist Wanda Ewing and her curated exhibit by the name Les Femmes Folles (Wild Women). LFF was created and is curated by Sally Deskins. LFF Books is a micro-feminist press that publishes 1-2 books per year by the creators of Les Femmes Folles including Intimates & Fools (Laura Madeline Wiseman, 2014) and The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters: Ten Tales (Laura Madeline Wiseman/Lauren Rinaldi, 2015). Other titles include Les Femmes Folles: The Women 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 available on blurb.com, including art, poetry and interview excerpts from women artists. A portion of the proceeds from LFF books and products benefit the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Wanda Ewing Scholarship Fund