I dreamed my mother condemned ||| BOAAT

my lingerie      I’d accidentally sent her a photo
of myself in the new black           cling-wrap
meant for my lover         my thumbs go loose
after 2 a.m.       so I typed m instead of g
Freudian slip though                maybe                seeking
my mother’s approval              of my barest while
decorated form          the appeal of opposites
soft skin, rough fish                net lace
buttoned up the back of my neck       one two
three     high cut on the hips too         one cut out
between my breasts      I could see her                     face
even though it was a text     her eyes crazed
as they’d been when she           caught me
pink-faced        with the Victoria’s Secret catalogue
at age      nine marking           all the lingerie I wanted
for my one-day            trousseau         she told me
it was all provocative             trash that real
women’s bodies didn’t          look like that               yet
here was her daughter        looking like that
                           this is repulsive        she said
                                                                      don’t ever do it again

 

 

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Jessica Lee’s poems have been published in the New Yorker, Missouri Review, The Journal, Prairie Schooner, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. She is currently an Assistant Poetry Editor for the Nashville Review and an MFA candidate at Vanderbilt University. Find her online at readjessicalee.com

Look for her new work in TLR: Granary (forthcoming)