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.
below is large
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.