Big breasts heaved into a pink bra
with matching panties, on sale. This is lace heaven.
This is a nameless model paid handsomely to stare down

a cameraman and pretend to be sexually aroused.
But this girl’s face looks awkward,
her lips too big, something wrong, too pursed,

as though unsure of what to do, perhaps unsatisfied
even with the opportunity of this cover shot,
a big deal for her I’m sure,

for her career, the big screen in Times Square
plunking her down into the street every five minutes.
Something’s wrong with the image though,

with the botched expression of arousal, and it’s sad
that nobody told her
before it got this big, this impossible to redo.

She just waits there on the cover like a big stuffed olive,
the kind a bartender sinks into a top heavy martini glass,
that a waitress carries to a table

and sets down to be sipped idly by a man who dribbles on
about fashion and art as though it were the big thing
he’d just invented, a new designer, a new style—

skewers her with a plastic sword, her big lips pursed
and waiting to be met, helpless to stop it.
This false arousal, this sexual pretense.



Photo By: Helga Weber


About Author

Travis Mossotti was awarded the 2011 May Swenson Poetry Award by contest judge Garrison Keillor for his first collection of poems, About the Dead (USU Press, 2011), and his work has appeared in such places as the Antioch Review, Manchester Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Subtropics, The Writer’s Almanac, Vallum and many others. In 2009, he was awarded the James Hearst Poetry Prize from the North American Review by contest judge Robert Pinsky, and in 2010 his poem “Decampment” was adapted to screen as an animated short film. He currently resides in St. Louis with his wife Regina and their daughter Cora.

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