Two Poems by Christine Jones

Nipple Reconstruction or No Nipple Reconstruction

Me: [ Sitting shirtless on the papered plinth.]

Dr. V: I had to ask am I
asking the right questions?

Me: [ Quiet as he rambles about his wife
dressing for a wedding, pasting adhesive
petals on her nipples. My husband
sitting on a plastic chair across the room.]

Dr. V: So they won’t show, she says to me. And I think
why am I reconstructing nipples if a woman is only going to cover them?

Me: [ Wondering if this is a rhetorical question,
and is this for real. Still shirtless. My husband
fiddling with his jacket’s zipper.]

Dr. V: I must say they’re tricky, and don’t hold up
very well, but it’s your decision, of course. There’s
also the option of a 3D tattoo.

Me: [Feeling the sting, a sudden chill,
my one nipple rising, of course.]

Early Morning Swim at Ballston Beach

My hand slips
between the currency.
O gold swell secure me.
What lurks
below is large
& though
quiet, looms
thick-skinned &
sinewy, seeking
fat to grab & thrash
for fuel, for temper.
I lost my wit for months;
one breast taken. A prefab
in its place; rigid,
scathing, against the soft
scape of a heart abridged.
I’m more than half
full now & seasoned
with a coarse salt. More
tender for the hunter, yes
but how else to exist
in this glide & thrust.
Terrified of any sharp thing
razoring my veins
yet unwilling to miss
the cold flush of this
wave. Apex predator, how fast
it arrows, how exact it aims.

Christine Jones is founder/editor-in-chief of Poems2go, an international public poetry project, as well as associate editor of the Lily Poetry Review. Her poetry can be found or is forthcoming in 32 poems, Sugar House Review, Salamander, Blue Mountain Review, Literary Mama and elsewhere. She holds her MFA from Lesley University and lives on the coast of Cape Cod, MA. Her debut book, Girl Without a Shirt, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in January, 2020.

Appears In

Issue 8

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