Mannequin for Hire

Sean William Dever


Place me in a storefront window
on Newbury St. preferably, All Saints,

but leave me naked.
Let my pod and CGM drape

under the spotlights
for the passersby to gawk,

pause, and photograph the flaws
chiseled on the backs of my arms,

stomach, and thighs. Where
scar tissue and bruises

rule my skin,
where insulin rashes

turn to insulin scars.
Prop me so my right arm extends,

the holes in my fingers greet those
who dare to window-shop close enough

see small caverns of darkness
and dried blood, face to face

with the mortality that capitalism
sweeps away, as bodies pile

upon one another
in front of CVS and Walgreens.

Vials of Novolog $289 (up $200
from eight years ago)

while the screeches
of garbage trucks removing

the diseased from your eyes,
eyes trained by the government.

When the season changes
and this look is outdated,
tuck me in the basement,
among other trends of past years,

place issues of The New York Times
at my feet, issues that illuminate

the growing number of deaths per year
of those without enough insulin

to keep ketoacidosis from poisoning
their blood in days, or hours – dust me

when time begins to show and nerves
further purple my feet.

Change my pod every three days
or throw out my PDM

so the repeated alarms don’t
interrupt your day.

But whatever you choose,
leave me naked.




Sean William Dever is a Boston-based poet, educator, and activist currently in his last year of his MFA in Creative Writing with a focus in Poetry at Emerson College. He teaches writing at Emerson and Boston Architectural College. In addition, he also works as a Professional ESL Tutor at Northeastern University. He is the author of the chapbook, I’ve Been Cancelling Appointments with My Psychiatrist for Two Years Now, forthcoming May 2019, published by Swimming with Elephants Publications.