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Breasts have betrayed us.

Cells turn to the dark side

after Venus and Ceres

touch them, after nursing

awakens them to their purpose.


Some mid-level DNA gave up the fight

against junk food, wheat obsessions,

strong coffee; DDT and their

thoroughly modern cousins

then rounded up the cancer,



At last, the self-destructive switch

was pulled—years in therapy,

twelve steps, eightfold paths,

two-part dramas, second marriages,

and exercise,

didn’t do squat

when the suicidal gene was

turned on.


All those underwires,

hand-washes in the night,

agonizing over cup size,

all that passionate tit life.



Enough jiggling down the street,

enough lace and straps,

enough to expose and how much.

Blouses with buttons in the front;

tube tops from the seventies;

the almighty first bases remembered,

enough hidden mounds of pleasure

sliding into mammogram machines.


Enough, and enough,

and too much—

scooping out the cancer,

stealing a few innocent lymph nodes,

zapping everything


the tender skin blushes and falls off.


Now you walk with the survivors,

a slight fragrant rose

for you

at the end of the pink warrior parade.


You lived,

    You lived,

       You lived.


Go on.


Posted 04/13/15
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