Svetlana Beggs



I, a young woman, selling bras at Neiman Marcus
Measuring breasts in a dressing room, older women mostly
Mrs. P comes in once a month, her regular cycle
Mrs. P: Louis Vuitton bag, black patent pumps
Pain inside, embalming hunger of loneliness
Not pain of the moon
Pain of the white florescent light of salons, luxury spas, upscale stores
Florescent light, so blinding it can obliterate anything

I stand behind Mrs. P, just another girl paid to touch her
She pretends to merely endure, no eye contact
After my touch she plans to be touched at the salon:
A manicure, then a haircut

I touch the back of Mrs. P accidentally, she shrinks at once
Skin running away from my finger in the direction of death
Under her left scapula, a crater forms, a little grave
I pronounce her a 36 D, it sounds like an address, a final destination
She buys delicate cages of white lace at $88 apiece

Next to Mrs. P, love, lover, beloved are tunnels not to be imagined
Unimaginability is Wittgenstein’s criterion for nonsensicality
This is always wrong, always, always, always


Svetlana Beggs’ poems have appeared or are forthcoming in CALYX Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Pleiades, Natural Bridge, Columbia Poetry Review and elsewhere. She is a recipient of a work-study scholarship in poetry to 2016 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, she lives in Seattle.