“Dare” – Poetry by Lauren Seligman

Flamenco Dancer - Sonia Delaunay, 1916
Flamenco Dancer – Sonia Delaunay, 1916


From our Spring 2014 Issue, we proudly present Lauren Seligman‘s sultry, swaggering “Dare.”

{ X }

SPLIT ME WIDE OPEN, an egg on the side
of a dish. Eat me alive, attack
without permission. I dare you to
come. Godzilla on the prowl for me. Turn over
billboards, trucks on your way. Take me by
the shoulders, shake me
hard, a natural disaster. Burn down

forests thickened in black
ash so villagers choke. Collapse houses into
the pea green ocean. Do not flash, a lightning
storm, be no mumble of thunder that a midnight
shower can bust. I am a flamenco
dancer standing in an adolescent boys’
choir, exotic in my obsessions and intuitions. I am dark

Poland, fragrant bark on the backyard beech
tree I climbed, crouched in the fork, scars on my
knees the color of persimmon fruit. I am July-hot
Washington Square Park, those gypsy
guitar tunes played at sticky night time, London’s
Cheshire Street stones slicked with moss where I
slipped, laughing on my back. I am veiled

an Egyptian daughter, an innocent bred on
old Astaire Hollywood fare. I outfit myself in
liquid navy eyeliner, lingerie inside trench coats
like Anouk Aimee. Oui, j’ai peur. Oui, je suis timide. Oui,
je disparais. I am masturbating under the table, come on,
knock it over. Turn me upside down until
the change falls out of my pockets, tinks, plinks on

the sidewalk. Come on– do not intimidate. Do not read
signs, interpret vibes. Come at me undaunted.
Question when I turn back on myself, apologize or
shy away from myself. Call me out, judge me, want
me regardless in spite. Come on man, hurry up. Look
good long, into me, put your palm over the face
of my hand, lead. Be sure just like

that, be quick. Come to me. I will conjure balloons
I could chase down with you, delve selves to then unseal
to you, wash my sheets to keep the clean
smell on them, blank in that no
man has branded them. Make
a racket. Bang, a bass player doing the
Beacon Theater. Turn up

the amplifier. I want my eardrums, intestines to
ring reverberating. I want to get lit
from my tip. Scratch the
vinyl. Rust me like wet
tin. Wrench me in two a cloud multiplied by
the storm. I dare you. Be
good, be brave,  begin.

{ X }

Photo by Cyrus Atory

LAUREN SELIGMAN writes things – poetry, fiction, emails. She also edits them. She is currently writing her first novel and has chucked in her expat status in Paris for the East Village, New York. A website is imminent but for now, find her on Facebook.

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