Mannequins of Decay |
by Gregoria Petrea

In a sold-out show, I stand nude in the shop window,
Tabula rasa, in line, awaiting to be told what to put on to sell,
Like convicts waiting execution, mannequins they have turned us into.
Semi creatures greeting each other with smiles and venomous corporate hand shakes,
Mechanization is death imitation is death repeat after me repetititon is death.
I’ve gone to the depths of myself and found
I am cut in half, sliced in one thousand bits of flesh and mourning,
All screaming on the inside
Puppets on the outside strangled with price tags hanging upside down.
Oh Marilyn, how did you know?
They crucified an Antichrist
While sickness shots pricked babies into combat mannequins:
Believe, obey, consume, conform shots, delivered to you on the same platter,
In the end, they’ll make your shot scars your flaws;
Now the million dollar mannequin machines draw fire and shed blood
And brand every other mannequin and none of them really make sense of each other.
Pierced by rebellion, one starts yearning for revenge and seeks it like a beginning,
Mannequin Kadmon extends his wings and flees the shop window to save,
Coming alive like lava, wreaking the shows of dresses and sleeve cuffs.
Obscene mannequins blinded by the shop window stare and see nothing,
Silken cloth covering hungry children’s mouths,
They start and end their day wordless, empty notebooks,
Unfleshed, one item crawls into existence after another
Do you hear them crawling?
Dirty revolutions turned uglier but the showcase shines brighter.
The fallen mannequin still hallucinates of brave new worlds
But depravation degrades;
Praise mannequin alpha and enslave the omegas,
A mockery of a gathering to choose who will tell you
What when where and for how long
But never why;
Crimson skies are never free,
Costly colors seize you and you suddenly wake up a cheap painting.
Reflective dolls pursue delight in stained glass
And imagine they look at themselves but they’re only the cracks.
As they shop with widespread glare in their eyes, famished babies and moaning cripples watch the spectacle in their rear view;
Not all that is violent is bloody
But there are blood stains on your dollar hands and you wish they’d multiply.
In the dear shop, underneath glamor grins and glitz and colored automatons,
Worms give birth to their dirt and they shine through,
As smudged as the virgins they fucked,
And in their mechanical lives, worms upgrade to deceive the world further
And they learn to cover and bury their dirt on their way to the top,
The mountain of shit that glitters
Revolutions turned into shiny products
Where’s the violence?
You turn ever blacker, never greener
Functioning corpses vilified by circumstance
Sweet outcasts on earth, blind to one another, unfolded to a greedy world.
At the end of the hall, away from the shop window and deep into the grotesque Wall Street of service,
There’s mimicry, blood, and your crucifixion
Because you forgot you were supposed to sell.
As mannequin Kadmon turns to face once more the shop window he deserted,
He sees the banal of their devil existences and the pits they have built,
How they stand there in contentment and submission,
Unflinching machines of profit, like rotten apples of ignorance;
With his bruised appearance, he smiles and rejoices
As corpses of division and decay continue to put on sold-out funerals in the shop windows.

Gregoria Petrea is an American Studies graduate from the University of Bucharest, Romania. She has published in “LGBTQ Rights from Stonewall to Glee” and an interview with photographer Daniel Nicoletta in [Inter]sections, and has participated in two conferences with pieces of creative writing. She has also published a short story entitled “Cherokee Rose” in the online literary magazine Howl. Her main interests are gender studies, creative writing, and music.