I was sitting on a 6-foot stranger’s shoulders,
unhooked my bra with two pinched fingers like I had
done before so many impatient men and waited
for the right angle. Calculated the exact time he would look.
I hovered over a haze of thick gray smoke. A woman I met
that night, with chestnut hair, bought me a drink.
The whiskey was stiff in my chest, melting away nerves. I lifted
my shirt when he started the chorus. Everyone danced.
The bass player saw me first, dropping his jaw as he played.
The large O shapes of his mouth and eyes made me think
he said Oh shit! The bass player then tapped him, urging
him to look at yet another set of fan-girl breasts. And he did.
But his mouth didn’t form the smile I wanted nor a grin.
He just kept on singing. What did I expect?
In my apartment that night I ripped off the straight black wig
I bought on credit for the concert only because the saleswoman
at the beauty supply store said it made me look exotic. I disrobed
in front of the bathroom mirror and stared at my breasts the way
one stares at a neglected house plant, lonely on a windowsill. Perhaps
there was too much space in between them. Enough to fit a fist or
the head of a small child. Perhaps he could see the trauma my body
carries with it, my boyfriend’s teeth marks circling both areola
gleamed underneath the strobe lights. He may have deemed it unsexy.
Perhaps their pear shape was the reason behind his dismissal or
how they sink as opposed to sit upright, finally sagging as my sister
warned me they would from not wearing bras every day,
even while sleeping. Or they may have been too brown
for his liking and clashed with the porcelain tones of his
backup dancers. When the tall man put me down a woman
wearing a band T-shirt and loud red lipstick said she was proud
of me. I smiled back and turned toward the stage fighting tears
while trying to quiet the fire in my chest.