I will not put on a bra today.
While Kavanaugh convulses in his seat
& that vapid tongue prevaricates away
& commentary in the senate strays
from testimony into sanctimony swap meet—
I cannot bear a bra today.
Starting a year ago—or was it two?—a slow decay:
underwires began to wear, some stays unseat
from cups & curl their metal tongues away.
Their razor tusks have started to fillet
my inner arms, saw into my ribs like teeth:
I refuse to don such a device today.
Of course I worry what they’ll say—
passersby, bored shirkers at the arcade down the street;
whether they’ll hold clucking tongues at bay
or leap at an opportunity to weigh
in upon my constitution, its offensive—unless desired—teats
displayed minus their customary shroud today.
Listening on the train to his apocryphal display
I thought: just let one motherfucker try with me
tonight. I’ll bite his tongue out of his face.
Therapist’s notes; texts; calendars; a dossier—
simple as it ever was: listen when women speak.
I watched a patient one unveil her breast today,
tongue the scale of truth to thrust a brute away.
KT Herr is or was: queer poet, songwriter, and grilled cheese enthusiast; advisory board member for Write616; poetry editor for The 3288 Review; host of WYCE’s Electric Poetry; Retort Slam finalist; Pushcart nominee; MFA candidate in poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. Her poems have been published in Pilgrimage Magazine, Punch Drunk Press, and Francis House, and her nonfiction has appeared in Goat’s Milk Magazine. She lives in Yonkers with someone else’s cat.
Editorial art by Elle Aviv Newton.