1. Trifle


Once I wore a dress like a flower petal dropped on the naked stamen of my dancer

body. More than once I slipped the narrow strap of it over my left shoulder and bending

slightly, fed my seated dinner guest his dessert. The guest then melted like sorbet on a

summer evening, and looked up at me as if he’d seen god. Next, sure as spring follows

winter, he fell in love. It didn’t matter who my guest was, and it certainly didn’t matter

who I was, it happened this way every time, after dinner, after wine.



2. Visiting my Aunt Reba, in her Perfectly Content Apartment on the Chesapeake

Bay Flats, for the First Time Since her Mastectomy


which she says wasn’t nearly as bad as the shingles she’d had two years before. She is

not wearing the bra that holds her prosthesis, but she tells me how amazingly much it

weighs, then goes to fetch it from her bedroom and places it, a beige leaden wedge, in

my hands so I may raise and lower it a few times, in order to appreciate its gravity – I,

of the teeny-bopper tits that never, in subsequent years, bothered to rouse themselves to

aspirations of greater maturity, holding her giant geometric substitute for a breast in my

upturned palms, looking into her familiar gray eyes, same color as her hair, saying

wow…wow…and imagining what it would be like to strap that object onto my chest

every day and sally forth into the great weird world.



3. I Know Not Seams


My shirts have turned seamy side out, baring their stitches. The fresh ones in my flesh

tolerate only the type of seamless smooth found in the newborn section of department

stores. Nipples made electric at the dimple-end of a tight-lipped grin that radiates across

the breast and rips lightning under the arm. I’m scored and skivered, touch me not,

not even you, slightest breeze.