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This poem first appeared n the Winter 2010 issue of The Antioch Review.


by Coco Owen

                        She's bedded         down in the hollow 
                     of her mother's        expectation.
                               She's dug          for her furring
                                   curves            a gaze-escape
                               that's her              retreat from
                        the family den          of sex inequity.

                        There, under-               ground, her Flopsy
                    self's centered in         her better nature's
                      itchy need for                separation from her warren kin.
                     Her little hole's                 a burrower's
                         Wonderland                   furnished with
                        a little desk                 & chair of knotty pine.

                            Holed-up,                 hermitlike—
                    this booby hutch             her escape hatch—
                      her invaginate                imagination takes
                  a pubis-eyed view            from her earthen
                   nest of premature             selfconsciousness.
                     Her precocious               interiority's

                    like a tulip bulb,               dirt-bulwarked;
                       a Netherlands               in hiding
                      from predation               of the hawked
                              model of                femininity to which
                      she's promised               her tawny beauty marking
                    her as a fancier's           or furrier's moving target.

                         She hankers in            her bunker, nests.
       She doffs her rabbit coat,            & scribbles code
    in her moleskin notebook               as self-preservation gesture.
                      She's turncoat                   to the topside's
           topsy-turvy etiquette                 expected of game girls.
            Haunted, she broods                her hunted selves.


cocoowenCoco Owen lives in Los Angeles and has published poems in 1913: A Journal of Forms, CutBank, The Journal, Rio Grande Review, and The Feminist Wire, among many other venues. She has chapbooks forthcoming in 2016 from Tammy and dancing girl press. She was a finalist in several recent book contests, including for the May Swenson Poetry Award. Owen serves on the board of Les Figues Press and you can read more of her work at http://www.cocoowenphd.com.



© The Antioch Review 2016