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Sample Poems by Melanie Dusseau

A Girl’s Guide to Pugilism
Box him softly to the corner,
singing sweet science sotto voce
till he buckles,
lipstung and dazed
against the ropes.
Perfume fists, feel up puppets,
wrangle meat from lions at the zoo.
Your new scent: orange peel and peat.
Crush cruiserweights,
cops and keynote speakers
with full-on tongue kisses.
Fake a personality disorder. 
Break chairs and cold-cock strangers
so a soothing doctor-type
can step up and explain:
“She’s Darla now.”
Crap outdoors. Cultivate
the ninny in femininity—that’s it:
kohl-eyed, ankles in, kissy-faced.
Toss your junk
trunk of truculence
over his knee.
Wear stilettos in the Colosseum of Couture.
A gunmetal bustier
with hot irons flaying hair
tied to the yoke of each porous curl.
Pink is the new black and blue. You,
in your cotton-crotched skivvies—
try harder to fight pretty.
Take a Sunday punch to the gut
and don’t call me sister.

Persephone: The E! True Hollywood Story
Whelped on over-sexed Olympus 
and bored with the burgeoning meadow,
she thumbed that chariot with teen goddess aplomb.
Sick of playing Skipper to Mom’s Corn Orgy Barbie,
she’d roll her eyes at the naked slaves and pots of ambrosia,
slam her door on Demeter’s divine knack for nags:
I want you at that fertility rite by midnight.
And wear the deerskin mini from Artemis!
Enter Hades, underworld bad boy. 
Misunderstood, his hair in rawhided dreads—
how he’d sway to the Hellenic version
of Leonard Cohen humming on an onyx turntable.
Charon kept the Crystal flowing,
Cerberus weeded out poseurs and paparazzi.
Girls from the sunny side are always hell bent on bad.
Friends said it was both love and thrill-seeking ennui
when he plucked her out of the ancient basket
of agri-worship and into his own dark heart.
Persephone knew her mother would winter,
eventually prevail in bending her
to the sunlit task of inspiring the earth’s copulation.
She ate that pomegranate on purpose, and how.

Ringside Heart

Muscle of our dark leaning
uncurls like the first fist of disease
in a body unaware.
Hands tremble, steady when bound.
The heart pumps, a fat pillow
of thunderous blood, useless
machination like breath,
a nova’s beam unseen
before it is murdered to pieces,
scalped star stuff strewn on the beach.
This heart could animate a corpse or a baboon.
Its only purpose to wet cells
and pray for hooves to crash on the bridge,
knock-deep timbre of wood
and the dark leaning forward of horses,
their flexing desire so like the heart’s
if the heart could lean.
But it will not.
It thuds in the empty church of the body
and waits as still air waits
for a storm to make it wind.

Bestiary for the Breasts of a Starlet

tucked under an armpit,
it squealed.
A jungle pig
its one eye
blinking, dumb.
If cut off,
this other—
stuffed to breaking
with fiber and fat—
would be content
to lie there
sipping sugar on a marsh of sinew
while sailors sang its praises.