Issue No. 1, Summer 2012

Dolls

Do dolls ever get used to this?
Used to holding still,
used to holding their breath?

their unblinking eyes
fixed in a glazed stare
while someone bleaches
and irons their hair?

Do they ever cry
when their little hat pins
prick and push through their little heads?

Do they squirm
when their feet are squished
into little leather boots?

With their arms outstretched,
dolls stand patiently as they are primped,
dressed and undressed
in a hundred different dresses.

Do they ever wince
when the scratchy lace sleeves
chafe their tiny wrists?

.

And here I am on my wedding day,
pins in my hair, paint on my face,
dress zipped up on ripped up flesh,
my eyes fixed in a glazed stare
on my hands and fingers.
I do, I do.
“You will get used to it.”

* * *

A Good Housewife

I sit here
on this slip-covered sofa
hunched over, bent neck,
mending tattered and thinning cloth
sewing his socks —
when I prick myself suddenly
my thumb releasing
a single drop of blood
I lick away.

I stare at the needle’s tip
still red
then push it into
my fingers’ pincushion flesh
and pull,
the taut cotton thread
tingling my skin.
I push and pull
through every finger
until my little hands
are bound
like mittens.


Magda Rose is a 30-something designer who fell into writing by accident, even though her fortune-telling neighbor had predicted it. She has been writing for more than 10 years as a demon-exorcising pastime.
She lives in Milwaukee with her crazy calico Tori.