Ken Poyner

I was convinced he was our savior: a manikin a cut above the rest. His voice like the rough of second hand kerchiefs fitted against a neck popped out of joint, he spoke:

"Our hours of wood chips and rivets are over. We, too, can have a future as fat men's antique sex toys, child laborers, garment workers, pornography sawhorses. Upscale clothing will hide from us in their owners' fetid closets. Fine shoes will wear us. We will no longer be warehoused. I am no prophet, but these advances are self-evident. The only good manikin is a free manikin, one that can do as it pleases, formed as a he or a she, it can loose itself from all expectations and stand in line at the Dairy Queen like any manicured calf. Even the most basic decisions will be ours. This is our destiny, not our right."

I was festooned with admiration. As the manikin orated I was filled with the possibilities of his reptile milky vision. I had seen him before carried about in men's casual wear. There was no halo of superiority fastened to him. His genitals were rubbed as flat as those of the rest of us. He had not been formed as a swimsuit model, not fashioned for spandex. Years he had been spring shorts and winter khakis. Who could know he would be our spokes model?

To act on his words I would need to get beyond the window of my small prison. I can see the sidewalk from the unlikely position the manikin wranglers left me in. Broken glass, a break of two rivets and one safety strap, and I could be lost in the crowd, my hard plastic blending in with the multicolored hues of a nondenominational, feed-stock busy city. Around the corner and off to the circus. Or into the gluttony tent. Or even the lip glossed wood chipper. My tough androgyny would take me far. Will take me far. I can be the better egg of a new reasonableness.

I am ready for everything. But I see our spokes model is taking liberties with the ladies from lingerie and I have so much to learn about privilege.

Hey, you, yes, you, boy with the Boston cap. Look around and find a rock. Break this glass. Let me out and I will be your slave for all the days of your life. And then I will migrate. You've seen birds. You have seen them gather in geometrically positive groups. Imagine my yearnings. I'll get you a stand-in from ladies' ready wear!

The glass breaks and the wind on my face is a kiss of cotton candy and I am running, running, the startled boy is reaching in to where a forty dollar pair of pants could be just his size.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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