The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Heidi Seaborn

Mani Pedi Sestina


The manicurist tugs on my ring,
rotates the diamond, wiggles it up snug
against the fat muscle and pulls. Nothing.
She soaps my fingers, leaving bubble trails,
to ease each band over my knuckle’s hinge,
where they dry on the fresh, white

towel, in a neat stack. Leaving a white
tattoo, a pale reminder on my ring
finger of promises made, future hinged
at the hip-joint—ball and socket snug,
of golden champagne gulped, a trail
of bubbles kissing lips like nothing

more than air. Air kisses into nothing:
lips brushing past ears, the neat white
teeth smiles of women who now trail
into the salon, cluster into rings
like school girls, circular and snug.
Perfect heads, perfection hinged

to hair color, shoes, handbag, hinged
to a husband who will say nothing
about the hair color, handbag, shoes snug
against French pedicure-tipped white
toes adorned with a gold little-toe ring,
or her new clothing spilled in a trail

snaking the master suite. A trail
of pretty things, each hinged
to a life of glittering bejeweled rings,
where love is counted on fingers, no thing
withheld, wanting. Gleaming white
kitchens, bronzed bodies bikini-snug,

trips to private islands, mountain-top snugs,
where marriage is a transaction of trailing
annual dividends that skirt black and white,
color a world where doors burst their hinges,
against the swell of pretty little nothings,
of baubles, bells and glittering rings.

I slip my rings back over the fingers’ hinge,
admire my nails as I pull my white sweater snug,
tip the manicurist. The women’s talk trailing to nothing.




HEIDI SEABORN started writing poetry in 2016, living in Seattle. Since then, her work has appeared in over 20 journals including Gravel, West Trade Review, Into the Void, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Gold Man Review, and in five anthologies, as the chapbook Body Politic published by Mount Analogue Press and on a Seattle bus.



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