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Grace Cavalieri

She never fell on the runway, not once, ever,
as big as she was.
They propped her up backstage.
The blind guy did her makeup. He had
a great feel for cheekbones.
The dresser, built like a hummingbird, fluttered
around, pulling and pushing the fabric to her hips.
White satin. What she always dreamed of as a child.
The top up to - but not covering -
her breasts. They would tilt up. Someone took a polishing cloth
and powdered them, then rubbed them hard like
new shined bumpers on an old car.
Someone else came by
and pressed on the sides of her mammary
glands so the cleavage could
flutter in the light. Ouch.
SMILE! She smiled. She had never had any cavities.
Someone lifted her foot
into a large shoe.
The heel was three inches high, built up like a knife,
but she never fell, she never fell.
The hair spray got in her coffee, one eyelash drooped a little.
Call Henri. He pulled it off. Call Yvonne. She pasted it on.
I LOVE NEW YORK. The music started up.
The curtains, the lights, the crowds outside snickering.
Henri grabbed away her lolly, green and sticky,
got the freshwipes for her fingers. She loved lime.
Oh My God she had to pee. Not now for Chrissake,
Yvonne lurched forward and pulled the waist down
a bit, the breasts popped up,
glittering with spray sparkles. The nipples were blinking their
eyes beneath the lace. Anna stepped forward,
an Aphrodite who had to pee. SHOWTIME.
She crested the wooden plank onto the runway,
breasting the height of her career.
Someone backstage hissed DON'T BREATHE OUT
JUST BREATHE IN. The breasts are the outcome, they said,
everything depends on how they come out.

Grace Cavalieri

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