Centerfold: A Bust is a Bust

BY Dorothy Chan

Meat is sex. I sit upright, breasts well-done: hard and healthy,
            nipples pointing towards the plate:

I don’t cook. But I’ll let him eat, then eat me:
            steak and haricots verts, fork and knife—the lower, lesser focal

point. A bust is a bust is a bust—
            why show the lower body when lunch and second lunch is

out, ready to play. I suck my thumb: kiss the cook, kiss the model,
            feed the model, feed the man. Big blonde curls,

and a big green ring on my pinky—the trace of my man.
            I’ve got his bling, just poured myself some red,

rising out of the gold chair—lace butt in the air,
            side glance at the candle’s temptation: big and gold,

big and gold, let that wax drip…side glance by the candle’s erection:
            let him drip, drip down the throat—

he’s finished the glass, and I’d rather see him
            in all light, than dim, throw his flesh

onto the table, grabbing one foot, then the other,
            hands up his legs, lips sucking his chest—

this isn’t dessert—we’ll play appetizer a bit, but it’s
            our meal, the course of my hands

touring body—the way I make a wish

                      blowing out the candle.

Centerfold of a Lifetime

Unwrap me. It’s a talent, and I’m the gift—a girl-next-door,
            but who is next door? I’m moving

idealized in the baby face’s blonde glory:
            long white ribbon against a white background,

body tanned and kneeling, smile stretching the sash:
            “...of the Year.” No, I’ll make that a lifetime—

nudes point to the art, grand centerfolds of lost traditions:
            Odalisques and luncheons on the grass,

the Venuses of confrontation: eyes daring you to penetrate
            through oil, penetrate:

she’s not naked in the fields, or in the room next door,
            hand over crotch, fruits over crotch, flowers as crotch—

repent, because nobody’s watching,
            don’t repent, because somebody stares.

I stretch the white sash. I’m some kind of rated pageant queen,
            holding it diagonal, above the belly button:

here I am, you’ve unwrapped me, chosen me after a year—
            I serve my country, bask it in the tradition

of the muse. Now put me on my back, on the floor—
            '60s montage of fur covering lovers, playboy after dark

lounging by the fire—his and her winter dreams—how your skin
            keeps me warm and not the flames,

how your skin rubs against mine on a yacht, on a jet…
            in a painting—on fire.


Dorothy Chan was a 2014 finalist for the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Plume, Spillway, Day One, Connotation Press, and The Great American Poetry Show. In 2012, The Writing Disorder nominated her poem, “Ikebukuro Train Rides” for a Pushcart.