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The Dressmaker's Dummy by Christine Hamm
published in Volume 9, Issue 5 on December 6th, 2002

I am the dressmaker's dummy.
I can fit any dress size.
His touch doesn't matter.
He is my father.

I don't need a head
or feet or arms.
I am the dressmaker's daughter.

The pins leave a tattoo of scars.
He reads them to me at night.
I smell like cotton padding and rust.
These pins are pearls.

I've worn 16 wedding dresses.
My hair is made of lace.
My nails have been replaced by springs.
All day I hear the whirring of tiny gears.
Tiny girls circle my head, which I don't need.

Underneath my skirt,
there's an automitizer full of gasoline.
I am dangerous around small fires.

I am a machine
made of rubber bands, ear wax
and muzak.
I run on hot air.
When I hold my breath,
I hardly bleed.

These pins do not pop me like a balloon
made of wax or songs.
His slacks are striped taffeta.

I am the dressmaker or his daughter.

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