Investing in Mannequins

I boxed them in a garage, unhooked limbs

from their hidden metal joints,

shrouded arms and legs in bubble wrap.


My boss bought from China, to eBay on

to small shops, army museums and men

who want light-weight life-sized women.


I did a photo-shoot in the living room,

on a carpet perfect as water tension.

Rigged each frozen girl in a cocktail dress

used double-sided tape to make the necklines

cling between hard, hollow breasts.

I wrote listings: Debbie is a classy brunette


The most I ever got was for a baby

with a bashed in hand. I started cheap,

called it poor thing, needs a loving home,

named her Lucy, took a picture of her hand

snapped off hollow as a chocolate bunny.


The bidders kept asking more questions

until I’d written a hometown, a date of birth,

a rainy motorway accident which killed both parents,

she went for three times the usual price.

from Soon Every House Will Have One (Smith|Doorstop 2014), © Holly Hopkins 2014, used by permission of the author.

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