“Headshot,” by Kris Bigalk

Apr 20th, 2013 | By | Category: Poetry

I needed a photo of the poet
for the Facebook invite to the poetry reading,
so I Googled her impossible Polish name
(I can say that, having my own impossible Polish name)
searching the thumbnails littering the page like confetti.
A pair of large, firm, breasts appeared, held up
by two graceful, feminine hands.

This would definitely boost attendance.

But, I thought, how to know if these breasts
were really the poet’s breasts—her name appeared
in the file name, but after all,
there could be a porn star in Poland with
the same name, though these breasts did
not have the Polish porn star look about them—
they definitely looked like sheltered breasts,
taken out only for special occasions.

I began an e-mail.
I Googled you and came across these
marvelous boobs. Are they yours?
Just checking,
Is this the photo you’d like
to use to advertise the reading?

So, after another long look,
I moved beyond the breasts,
scrolled until I found a photo
where I recognized the poet
with the Polish last name, her head cresting
the surface of a blue lake, her green
eyes smiling as if to say
I’ve got something here, under the surface
you’re really going to like.


Defenestration-Generic Female 03Kris Bigalk is the author of the poetry collection Repeat the Flesh in Numbers (NYQ Books, 2012); her poetry also appears in the anthologies Poetry City, USA Volume 2 and Open to Interpretation: Water’s Edge. Her awards include grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and a residency at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. She lives with her husband and four sons in the Twin Cities, where she directs the creative writing program at Normandale College.

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