Women’s History Month: Women in Words


The Woman with the Perfect Body

By Karla Cordero

MarigoldPosterThe Woman with the perfect body
one day peels the skin off her body.

Her plump breasts fall to the ground,
evaporate into the sun’s hungry body.

She throws her hair, staples each eye lash
to the wall, feels the woman-pieces left on her body.

Now a monument of bones braided
in vein ribbons and pink muscle expose her body.

The Woman pulls out her nicely kept teeth,
pickles them in lavender oil for her daughter’s body.

In the city, businessmen stare, wives vomit
caviar lunches at the sight of an unfamiliar body.

The Woman declares, Whoever chooses to love
me, chooses to love a woman’s broken body.

A florist from the crowd takes her hand
drapes marigolds around her body.

We dance to pollen and rude faces. Maria smiles
counting the bees that visit her body.


About Karla Cordero

Born in the hot little border town of Calexico, California, I started my new life in San Diego where the weather spoils the living. I’m currently an MFA candidate at San Diego State University, studying creative writing under Sandra Alcosser and Illya Kaminsky. Aside from the graduate life, I’m an associate editor for Poetry International and my work has appeared in the California Journal of Women Writers.

In 2013, I helped the San Diego poetry slam team place fourth in the country at the National Poetry Slam in Boston. I believe that activism exists in the ability to pick up a pen and paper, transforming one’s thoughts into a tangible action for change.

Photo Credit: Clyde Robinson via a Creative Commons license.

Comments (2)

MillieMarch 28th, 2014 at 7:58 am

Words don’t work for me after reading this. Wow! That’s about all I can say.

Francine SchwartzMarch 28th, 2014 at 9:06 am

Visual and visceral. Defiant and soft. Good stuff!

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