Someone keeps opening the music boxin the middle of the night.
It used to play Claire de Lune, nowplays muzak versions of the latest pop song.
I sleep with one eye open.The figurine has surely been pushing
her way out. Her toes are so slendershe can pry open the lock.
Her sleek limbs bunch their musclesas she lifts the lid, and
for ten seconds, she lookslike a sumo wrestler in her tutu.
If you asked her, she’d tell youwhat it’s like to be buried alive.
To spin on command.She’s been studying to be a DJ.
There are lots of classes on the internet,she’ll say. A girl can be anything.
But the dark trope only letsher rise into a sea of pink
with plush dolphins.Maybe I’ll grow up,
she says, looking around,to be a veterinarian. [End Page 13]
You don’t tell her that her veneeris wrinkling and her belly
bulges like a squeezed tube.Her eyes chip
away without her notice.It won’t be long until
she’s retired. The bodyjunked and thrown
from the box. Separatedfrom everything that moves. [End Page 14]
Rebecca Morgan Frank is the author of Little Murders Everywhere (Salmon 2012), a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Her poems have appeared such places as Ploughshares, 32 Poems, Guernica, and The Missouri Review online. She edits the online magazine Memorious and teaches at the University of Southern Mississippi.