“Ladies” by Krista Miranda

Krista Miranda


He told me to please take my
ladies off the bar counter”—

as if my breasts were sweat rings
from a tumbler.
You see, I leaned forward
to read Amaretto labels.
Even my hair fell in folded pools

on the waxed, wooden surface.
This is about decorum.
My palms are powdered and dry.
I no longer smoke,

but when I did, I never ashed
in an empty glass.
If I were to balance shots
of Kahlua and Absolut

on each upturned nipple
(and I can)
I’d be the most delicious
White Russian you’ve ever had.

I’m wearing cashmere.
My breasts buff this counter
to a shine of which only martinis
and Grand Marnier are worthy.

Today they are invincible, possibly explosive—
they had Tae Bo at dawn,
wrote a pantoum, and made egg salad
with a touch of paprika.

Bra-less, and a bit premenstrual,
they are swim caps filled with the Atlantic
and weighted with smooth stones—
the kind you roll
in the palm of your hand,
the kind that deserve their own place
on the mantle

between the urn of your childhood pet
and a photo from your trip to Alaska.
The kind that don’t need coasters.

from Rattle #24, Winter 2005

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