Poetry: “The Force” by Danielle DeTiberus

Generations of boys whacking off
in bedrooms and basements, imagining
themselves one of three men inside

a juiced-up worm frothing at the gold bikini
princess. Metal cold on so much bare
flesh that even the married, middle-aged cad

can’t help himself to a taste between
takes. But what of Carrie, nineteen and no
women around to shrug at, to roll

her eyes with in comradery? Only men
get comrades in space or on 70s film
sets. The girl was told to stand all day

so the camera wouldn’t catch a single
crease at her waist, her belly. Even worms
want their women rail thin. He’d grab her

by the pussy if his arms could reach,
and so can only lick the spaces
where his lips would be, think of Leia

splayed out over his lardaceous
lizard mounds. A sexy tumble down
a roiling hill, a dizzy unrolling of his

chained goods, and the fun of wrapping
her back up again. Gilded cuffs snake
around her tits like a rich man’s money

shot—everything’s better in gold.
A desert plaything so camouflaged
that even Luke and Han never bothered

to say, Hello; So long. Wasn’t that always
the way with princesses? To defer
is divine. To be desired, every little girl’s

dream. For a man takes what he wants
like a bitch. And, like a bitch, she’s
nasty: a dog tied up in the yard, waiting

to be broken or to bite. Forgive us,
Ms. Fisher. We love to watch a woman
squirm to the rhythms of a two-bit

gangster’s locker talk. We only meant
to lock you up. To keep you a girl
forever, faithfully wetting our dreams.


Danielle DeTiberus lives and teaches in Charleston, South Carolina. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2015, Arts and Letters, Rattle, The Southeast Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She currently serves as the Poetry Society of South Carolina’s Program Chair, bringing nationally renowned poets to Charleston for readings and seminars. Read more about her work at danielledetiberus.com.

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