Somerville College
Woodstock Road, Oxford,
OX2 6HD, UK
orbeditor@gmail.com
The ORB is published with permission of LM Publishing Ltd, Palladium House, 1-4 Argyll St, London W1F 7LD.
Subscribe to the ORB

On the Death of My First Vibrator

by Madeleine Mori


I thought its final heat was my own—

that pursuance of myself somewhat like

trying to orient battery, the right alignment,

the riding, hugging of some peak, until the sharp

release, dispersal of electrons. Curtain

of water molded to ribbon, luciferin

massaged from damp wood. The surge

seared my tips so much I chucked its pink

body back to when it came to me, full of symbol

the morning after some reality TV drinking game,

after Emma gave her first hand-job, I woke up topless

in sweatpants, still a virgin, and Kait was told

to get something that could be put inside her.

A VW Beetle vaulted us over the Atascadero grade

in the wake of a tomato-hauling eighteen-wheeler.

Emma smoke-laughed, Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,

passing me the swisher sweet, crudely pinched

with buds of spit and insight, as we pulled into the lot

of Diamond Adult World. Two days later

dressed as Mia Wallace, I met J, dressed as J,

at a Halloween party, began trading him

Pall Malls for Spirits. I left without doing something

I knew we both wanted, instead slipped the slim

pink tube from its sleeve, inserted two AAs.

Within seconds, the autumnal numbness

dissipated. Five years, my life with J.

Five years with it, and now what’s left to show

of my purchase? Now that I’ve seen the wake

of my self-worship, the body boomeranging

through carnal air, the tip curved, like an initial.



MADELEINE MORI is a Japanese-American poet originally from San Francisco. She earned a bachelor's degree in winemaking from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and an MFA from New York University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in BOAAT, Cosmonauts Avenue, Neck, Sixth Finch, The Cincinnati Review, and jubilat, among others. She is the Poetry Editor at Pigeon Pages and lives in Brooklyn, where she works as the assistant to Sharon Olds.