This story is paired with Chapter 5 of Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. For best experience, download the LithoReader for your iPhone or iPad and get NonBinary Review for free.
“It is an appropriate thought to admire a celebrity’s nose, or eyes, etc., as an ideal or desirable look,”
—Michael McGuire, MD, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgery.
“Because a woman’s body is a grave; it will accept anything…”
—Louise Glück, from Dedication to Hunger
She pursued her undertaking
as in a fever,
deprived herself of sleep and rest
fingers frantic, flipped pages,
selected, clipped, collected
as from a slaughter house
scraps of hallowed body parts:
Michelle Obama’s arms
Jennifer Anniston’s nose,
Kim Kardashian’s butt,
Eyes from Hathaway,
Lips from Jolie,
A chin like Halle Berry,
Cheekbones like Beyonce.
Taylor Swift’s hair,
Binder full, she bore it like a corpse
to her surgeon,
cradling a hope profane,
begged him to infuse
into her tortured soul
She had lost all sensation, there
in the solitary chamber of her heart,
could not another day endure
the wretched reflection,
so much did she loathe
its shriveled complexion,
its dull and watery eyes.
 Quoted in Sheilah Markar, “Top 8 Most Coveted Celebrity Body Parts,” ABC News, 17 Nov. 2009.
Elizabeth Johnston is a founding member of the Rochester-based writing circle, Straw Mat. Her poetry has been featured in more than a dozen literary journals and edited collections, most recently The Mom Egg Review, The Luminary, and Rose Red Review. Her poem, “Dorothy Tells it with a Sigh,” appears in NonBinary Review’s Wizard of Oz issue.