she is a poet who stoops to cheap metaphor.
she stands up in poetry readings in coffee shops and libraries
and other places with cherry wood coffee tables, armchairs
with strange prints, men with horn tipped glasses
and shy stuttering smiles.
she peels off her jacket.
her pants, her shirt, she steps out of her underwear,
unzips her boots, leaves her socks
curled like quotation marks on the floor in front of her.
her thong is a question mark.
she removes her earrings
her grandmother’s wristwatch,
a small pile of gold glinting underneath soft amber light.
the bra flung on a book cart.
she unbuttons her skin, carefully.
her heart is ugly. she plops it on the table,
then removes her lungs.
her spine leans against the bookshelf.
her skull placed in a stranger’s hand.
they are fascinated.
not by the careful deconstruction
but by the spindly fingerbones,
the practiced and unstuttering way
they peel everything apart.