That day I was a mannequin:
my head and torso
hang from a beam
my limbs scattered on the floor
my face tinted
the color of despair
my eyes, empty wounds
void of color or lashes
regarding the world
without death or

Although the experts knew
I was a mere mannequin
they were careful
not to touch me,
Careful. Do not touch.
This is Art.
Look, her eyes
are open wounds
with no color or lashes,
her mouth laughs and cries
at the same time,
her limbs scattered on the floor
a rose is blooming from her neck–
she’s a joke.

(Some one murmured
(it must have been you,
for something pretty, fragrant,

Each word hit my face
like spit...
my head and torso
strung from a beam,
my limbs scattered on the floor
among shifting feet
of connoisseurs
nodding their heads,
lordly savants–
while with a cool
they haggled
my price.

© Ilana W. Haley 2016