poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

poetic forms

About this Poem 

“We wrote ‘Florida Doll Sonnet’ by email, two lines at a time, as part of a new collaborative series on our fascinating adopted home of South Florida. Miami ranks number three in the nation for cosmetic surgery. There is one plastic surgeon for every 10,000 people. We’re not sure how many patients one surgeon can have, but sometimes it feels like each treats 9,998 people and we are the only two without face-lifts.”
Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton

Florida Doll Sonnet

I love Fresh Market but always feel underdressed
squeezing overpriced limes. Louis Vuitton,
Gucci, Fiorucci, and all the ancient East Coast girls
with their scarecrow limbs and Joker grins.
Their silver fox husbands, rosy from tanning beds,
steady their ladies who shuffle along in Miu Miu’s
(not muumuus) and make me hide behind towers
of handmade soaps and white pistachios. Who 
knew I’d still feel like the high school fat girl
some thirty-odd years later? My Birkenstocks
and my propensity for fig newtons? Still, whenever
I’m face to face with a face that is no more real
than a doll’s, I try to love my crinkles, my saggy
chin skin. My body organic, with no preservatives.

Copyright © 2015 by Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 4, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 4, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Denise Duhamel

Denise Duhamel

Born in 1961, Denise Duhamel is the author of numerous books and chapbooks of poetry, including Blowout (University of Pittsburgh, 2013).

by this poet

poem

The barista at the coffee shop is covered in tattoos. She says there are only two ways they hold her back. 1. She can’t work at Starbucks. 2. She can’t wear a corsage, since she’d just be way too busy, and this makes me laugh. She says no to gifts from prom dates—the wrist corsage, the pinned corsage; no to bridal

poem
—to Sean Penn

I'm writing this on a plane, Sean Penn,
with my black Pilot Razor ballpoint pen.
Ever since 9/11, I'm a nervous flyer. I leave my Pentium
Processor in Florida so TSA can't x-ray my stanzas, penetrate
my persona. Maybe this should be in iambic pentameter,
rather than this mock sestina, each
poem
In the 5th century B.C.
an Indian philosopher
Gautama teaches "All is emptiness" 
and "There is no self." 
In the 20th century A.D.
Barbie agrees, but wonders how a man 
with such a belly could pose, 
smiling, and without a shirt.