by Margaret Bail

I noticed her when she walked into the conference, not because she was pretty (though she wasn’t not pretty), but because she reminded me of a Renaissance painting – round, full and ripe – not at all today’s feminine ideal. She wore an inappropriately revealing white dress, cut low up top and cut short down below, obviously designed for a slimmer form then manufactured and distorted to fit everywoman. When she sat her big breasts bounced and threatened to overflow, while under the table her ample thighs were visible much farther north than I preferred to see, though from my angle the ultimate terminus was still a mystery. I tried to pay attention to the conference. And yet... inexplicably distracted, my eyes were still drawn to that fleshy chasm, rippled legs spread too wide (but not quite Sharon Stone wide). I wondered, both titillated and revolted, how much information the men directly across from her were getting and if it was too much or just enough.


Margaret Bail - writer, grad student, mom - is hiding out in the vast, unending northern plains.