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Allergy Girl VII

Sandra Beasley

While the director fusses over the setting light,
while the stuntman flares a motorcycle’s engine,
Harvey Blaine says Here, teaches me to ease down
wide, along the tailbone, quick to settle

my shoulders on the bed of nails. This is nothing
like the TV version, Fuji flesh speared by gravity.

No worse than the scratch tests at six, at fifteen:
that slow matrix of pinpricks across my back,
then the essences applied: egg, soy, cat,
dust, roses, five by five to the small of my spine.

The key, the magician says, is distribution of pressure.
An egg will hold up to the full squeeze of your fist,
unless you wear a wedding band—uneven moment,
metal push—shell giving way to a bleed of yolk.

One needled point is all it ever took: lactose
blooming to a cluster of welts clear down my thighs.

My shirt is all wrong for this, a thin swath of black
lined only in the front, cleavage-cut for the camera.
Harvey tells me to rise before I feel the blood rise.
The director says Smile. Look like you enjoy it.

Sandra Beasley

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