Maja Lukic

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.

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CABINET

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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.

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But I, I still expect to find you

some morning,

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.

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MUTATION

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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

beautiful.

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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.

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On the street, a man unloads plastic pink

+ white mannequins from his carbut only

the lower torsos. They stand on the sidewalk,

parallel nude parts sliced off at the waist

like a magic trick gone horribly wrong.

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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 dayare they

radioactive yet? Do I have the gene?

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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.

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On the way back up from the river,

a plastic doll bust sits in a wooden crate

on the sidewalk, watching our legs passing.

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