Dominique Salas

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[A circle of women gather at a table to speak]

A circle of women gather at a table to speak
of other women and infidelity
and partners and are using the word EVIL
and the words BAD PERSON and then
BAD PERSON. And I still reflect
to wonder how I was A BAD PERSON. It was
all in the argument of my artistry. My period
of performance, that phase in which I was
into giggling, WHOA, who the fuck am I?
Sitting in the kitchen drunk, asking if people
would please give me their pizza crust because
I am lactose intolerant and who the fuck
didn’t order the pizza I wanted with extra
sauce and no cheese? See, yes, that was me.
It still is, but consoling a boy that he was
nothing like his abusive father while then
fucking him in the bathroom and then lap dancing
on a Jacob-Something, that was not me. Technically it was, but it was not a healthy me. The magazines with good-girl celebrities know when women are healthy good-girls. In some dimension, it might have been that I could have done that. I never did, but I knew it was the commitment that really mattered. The commitment to be
that girl at the party. You know, that girl?

You know? If you do, tell me, because I feel
like I should have something to say
aside from blinking slowly and eating chips
while at this table of every-woman. Every one
has a different image of that girl. Aside
from the fact that that girl is mostly only
that girl because of her possession of a clit or
the absence of one or because of how her skin presents
as butterscotch candy or some other
syrupy sweet for you to suck into disappearance in your mouth.

[At first, I wished that a man]

At first, I wished that a man
with a dick was writing about
me, instead of me. No one
walks into a museum to admire
the woman who statued herself,
glint of an open compact
in her hand. But, I am saccharine
hair-twirling in place of placid
grace, and women are mandatory-
resourceful. I can glance into the aureole
with a wink and chuck it at your feet.

Manmade unoriginal danger, I will see your
destruction, and raise you switch-blade sexy.

Do I really have to be switch-blade sexy? I assigned myself this duty as a child, rewatching Interview with the Vampire just to see Claudia in one scene. Her body frozen and neuter. She sees a woman, nude. If there were an argument deciding her beauty, this scene would be all the evidence. Claudia is enraged and tantrums out her anger. She wants her body to be whittled and lengthened: the collar bone jutting to catch the light, but designated plush on certain expanses of the body. Maybe of some use; maybe they are footholds for lazy lovers. I wanted that paradox of a body. As I got my period, I waited for my transformation. I turned seventeen, and finally rose to meet a B cup. I made the list of what this woman had, what I could not grow: the honeyed hair, pillows of white flesh and fat that cast shadows along the nakedness of her, and the height of her, just her stature meant Lady to me. So, naked, I stood in the restroom alone, tugged at my hair, the protrude of ribs where a chest should ascent. I had to stand on the toilet to get a full view of my body. If I could receive instructions to be a Lady, I would have been elated. I too could be that naked.



Dominique Salas is a native of El Paso, Texas, holding an MFA in poetry from New Mexico State University. She is currently a Communication Arts PhD student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison focusing on rhetoric, politics, and culture. Her work has recently appeared in Huizache, Bone Bouquet, The Volta, and Apogee. You can find her on Twitter as @soydominique

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