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,
didn’t do squat
when the suicidal gene was
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,
the tender skin blushes and falls off.
Now you walk with the survivors,
a slight fragrant rose
at the end of the pink warrior parade.