Carol Lynn Grellas is a three-time Pushcart nominee and the author of two chapbooks: Litany of Finger Prayers, from Pudding House Press and Object of Desire newly released from Finishing Line Press. She is widely published in magazines and online journals including most recently, The Centrifugal Eye, Oak Bend Review and deComp, with work upcoming in Breadcrumb Scabs, Past Simple and Best of Boston Literary Magazine. She lives with her husband, five children and a little blind dog who sleeps in the bathtub.
A Mall in California
(After A Supermarket in California, by Allen Ginsberg )
What needs I have for you tonight, Victoria Secret
for I stroll past the naked mannequins, half-dressed
with funnel shaped breasts and hair of lacquered pearl.
A girl who prays for moonlit nights to angle light
just right and bombard my windowpane with galaxies
of unknown inventory. But you with your aisles full
of thong-back panties and lace-net bras of fleur-de-lis,
I can imagine the husbands hallelujahs. What plums
with hidden nectars- ripe as teats for nursing babes.
And you Johnny Depp, I am here a minute past
the dressing rooms.
I saw you Victoria Secret, I saw you placing your mirrors
akimbo to the walks, rose-toned halogens brightening
up the ambiance. Are you my savior? My wingless
goddess giving me hope? I danced in serpentine
steps between the cashier and the husbands needing
a centerfold; but I am old and my mind is hostage
to fantasy. I pass the girls with robust frames, standing
amidst the pendulums constant tick. The clock whisperer
is calling my name.
Where are you going, Victoria Secret? Security is closing
the double-chained door. Which heels are best for this nudity
show? You are the mother of bringing sexy back and arousing
desire from some pitiless sight, my plight a nude desire
where ambition is fueled by fire and no man can say no
to an unhooked bra.
Ah, Victoria, sweet encourager of support and midnight
fallacies, what has become of the flower-child bohemian
mantra, the breathing heart of uninhibited passion, where
nothing proves as beautiful as bosom pressed to skin?
Do you offer them candy?
Only if they beg for candy and their whole
body quakes with need, but after the first
day we confiscate everything.
What do you feed them?
Whatever they want, except no candy.
I have mint cigarettes that suffice
for those who suffer withdrawals.
Don’t they all suffer withdrawals?
Yes, but not all care for mint cigarettes.
Sometimes we use Cyberkinetics
Do they complain about the pathology
of fate and harm?
Yes, sometimes they threaten to slit their wrists.
What do you tell them when this occurs?
I hold out my arms and show them the scars;
Do they think you’re an idiot for such a display?
No, they kneel beside me and pray.
A Battenberg collar holds her delicate
face like an opened flower. She pouts;
lips the color of blushing rhododendrons.
Her portrait rests on the dresser in a gilded
frame. I heard she had six husbands,
a love for alligator handbags and one
child who was my mother.