R. Erica Doyle

The Well-Groomed Otter Is Extremely Buoyant

In this kind of sea, floating really matters.
The well-groomed otter is a tail above the others.
Her particular sheen, the curve of her brown,
the arch of her back, the clams that she cracks –
to be groomed is the key to survive in this sea.
She smooths each natty lump down, shines clean
as a glass, runs each hair and black toe
like a woman in the morning
takes hot iron, tweezes chin, tugs on the underwire
slips on the heels, to arch the calf, raise the rump higher;
with a sponge, blend the moonside of cheek,
line the eyes in black, sheen the lid in green
tailored brow. Shirt smooth? Pants creased?
Panty lines gone? Cellulite? (Use a thong?)
Oiled smooth and sea-compliant
the well-groomed otter is extremely buoyant.


R. Erica Doyle