shoe cancer

she’s a mermaid drowning in fur
she has face cancer
but it’s not contagious
her life is strapped into the dentist chair
secured under that heavy radiation bib
bills to pay
cancer notes
poem
she’s a mermaid in 476 dollar kate spade shoes
asphalt is not her medium
grit is not her purpose
she’s a mermaid
she knows she’s a mermaid
because she just can’t breathe this air
because her hair wisps out like seaweed
because she keeps her crotch closed
but now they’re telling her she’s only a girl
spinnng lies on a dying earth
they say she has attitude cancer (contagious)
that she needs to polish her phrases to fit
sometimes she’s just plain angry
she stamps her high heels
and shakes her fists
everywhere the sharks sharpen their teeth
sign paychecks
rubbernose into her business
it’s late afternoon and she wants to soak her face in the green sea
to breathe in the mystery of fishes
to forget she ever owned a vagina

wendy shaffer

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