Maja Lukic’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, Salamander, Western Humanities Review, Sugar House Review, Vinyl, The Moth, Prelude, and other publications. Links to selected pieces online are available at majalukic.com and she can be found on Twitter: @majalukic113.
Sometimes I move so close
to blindness, I don’t even see
the inside of the bathroom cabinet,
selecting bottles and vials
in a stunned stupor,
the elan of the automata.
Sometimes I didn’t even
know when you were there
stating your presence,
edgeless and reverent
like a moon in winter circle
lately pinned between astral objects,
Pollux, Castor, Aldebaran.
This was your quiet position
and I too comfortable in it.
I loved you, but abstractly.
Now you’ll stay away long
and even if not long,
already too late.
I could never go back.
But I, I still expect to find you
fresh and bewildered,
an eidolon hovering
behind the cabinet mirror,
behind my own face in it⎯
your palms pressed against
the walls of the tender facility
in which I contain you,
and sometimes feed you,
but never enough.
Eggs + erotic wallpaper at Chez Moi
in Brooklyn. Black + white cabaret nudes.
Voices From Chernobyl to read alone in
a leather corner. A nuclear disaster
shows even radioactive things can be
I want to ask the waitress where she bought
her black lace crop top; it cuts her torso
in a perfect half. I could use a black
bandage like that. To be a little severed,
a violent edit would serve me now.
On the street, a man unloads plastic pink
+ white mannequins from his car⎯but only
the lower torsos. They stand on the sidewalk,
parallel nude parts sliced off at the waist⎯
like a magic trick gone horribly wrong.
The sidewalk is a chalk arrow pointing me
to the river, its blue-green eventual slosh,
quiet promenade. Everywhere I look, bodies.
I worry about my breasts all day⎯are they
radioactive yet? Do I have the gene?
My ribs are letters spelling out limitations⎯
a sentence carved across my breasts.
Set to detonate one day in the future,
a lovely mine embedded in my flesh,
the gene is a tiny ruby behind my chest.
On the way back up from the river,
a plastic doll bust sits in a wooden crate
on the sidewalk, watching our legs passing.