by Nicole Callihan
“I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.” C.F.
Haven’t been outside in a few nights
But I’m pretty sure there’s a moon,
And it’s either getting bigger or smaller.
When she was nineteen, George Lucas
Told Carrie Fisher she couldn’t wear a bra
Under her white dress, because, well,
There are no undergarments in space.
He’d traveled there. He knew.
When I was twenty-four, I had a boyfriend
Who recommended I sleep in a bra,
Because, well, sagging. All my little girl
Fantasies of growing up and sleeping
Naked with my lover shot out the window
Into outer space. My student says
She’s not a feminist because she likes her bra,
Doesn’t want to burn it, wants it to hoist
Her titties sky high. And what can I say but
Feminists don’t burn bras anymore,
Even as I stand with a match in my hand?
I always think of my boobs as my most
Defining characteristic, though I wish
It were my kindness or my empathy or the quasi
Intelligence I’ve cultivated in the academy.
For the academy? My old boss, known for wisdom
And charisma, ended up hating me, and me, him,
And this I blame on my boobs too. Rich girls
Don’t tend to have boobs, but I shouldn’t make this
About class, though if you think of it have you ever known
A woman born into money with huge tits?
I didn’t think so. Maybe Elenor Roosevelt,
But I know even less about history than I know
About keeping my mouth shut when I should.
What I’m saying is: I’m 42 and sitting in a casino
Half a day away from a new year. It’s not even noon,
But I’m two drinks in, and everyone around me
Is clothed, and no one’s been outside in days.
I’m trying to get accustomed to the fact I’ll die.
Everything but my bones and teeth and ratty hair
Will rot away, and then I’ll be what? Stardust?
What does stardust need of a bra?
And reader, finding this poem, what will you say of me?
That I had big tits? That I drowned in moonlight?
That I strangled myself with the very idea of my bra?
Listen, not so long from now, in a galaxy very, very near,
A fake waterfall falls. Does it deafen your ears?
Are you as lonely as the starlight makes you seem?
Last updated November 23, 2022