Saturday, 4 August 2018


ursula is probably a feminist icon

by Nixi Schroeder


ursula stands in the mirror pinching fat rolls
she draws a smiley face on pale skin with blue lipstick

a man at the sandbar tells ursula to smile; she flashes
white fangs, tells the man that female angler fish mate with male angler fish
by physically absorbing them,
the man calls her a fat bitch
she says

the blue-ringed octopus can paralyze a person with one tentacle, says
cone snails kill more people than lions, says

down here we don’t hunt with packs but with poisons, and
my Chanel cost more than your whole outfit, honey

when ariel asked me for a thigh gap
i revoked her voice—
so don’t underestimate the power of my body language, says

men burn the witch-ness from the women they can’t control
but under the sea no one can light matches, when
ariel asked me for a foot fetish i gave her muscle mass, gave her clitoris, gave her
leg hair, gave her an ass crack, and  

don’t you know sea faults cause tsunamis?
don’t you know my jiggle could kill, that i could trigger the next
Fukashima with one twerk, baby
don’t you know that down here we talk in fireworks, talk in explosions,
down here it’s eat or be eaten, says 

ariel asked me for a soulmate  
so i repossessed her—
don’t ask what this body could claim from you
i could store your poor unfortunate self in one stretch mark, 
and still have space for mystic expansion

ursula tugs her belly rolls in the bathroom mirror
she sings with her own voice
and smiles
and smiles 


* * * * *

Nixi Schroeder is a teaching assistant and MA student of English at Truman State University. Her work has been featured by The Fem, Red Dashboard Press, Eyedrum Periodically, Sweet 16's not AR 15's, The Monitor, Everyday Poets, and Windfall Magazine, among other publications. She is also a former poetry reader for the Chariton Review.