Princess to Prince from Atop Twenty Mattresses


Hyperaware of eyelashes hovering over my field 

of vision, so close & so there– I pluck them all out

the way I wish I could pluck the useless tongue 

from my mouth, leaning against teeth that clack 

like shattering glass on the wrong side of the ear 

canal. Noise scrapes like sand in a sockless shoe,

digs at the skin in unseen symmetries until my body

resembles an alien topology. I wish I could say

your courtly hold on my ungloved hand feels softer 

than chisel on marble, but every advertisement

of affection pares me down until I’m more skeleton 

than girl, and how can a pile of loose bones navigate 

a life like this? It’s all fluorescent lights, lacey  

borders, unexpected ringtones, underwire bras.

When I am crowned Queen of a Body Transcended, 

the coronation will take place in my sleep. And when 

you kiss my forehead, for the first time I won’t feel 

corrosive acid eating at strata of petrified muscle. 

You will wreathe my shoulders in vegetable greens, 

and celebrate the         pearl       for lack of the oyster.

AUDREY DUBOIS is a poet from Rhode Island, and is currently a creative writing graduate student at Emerson College. Her work has appeared in Plain China and Rushlight. She likes weird antiques, frozen yogurt, and PBS documentaries about Karen Carpenter. Audrey can be found on social media at @platypusinplaid.