Object of Desire






How smoothly the cancer seduces the body.


Lying in the tub, head resting
on the cool porcelain edge
bathing with the same stroke
the same swipe of hand, only now
the rhythm is slower.


The evening before surgery
stepping out of my bath,
I memorized the slick of oil
over the curve of my breasts,
the symmetry in the mirror,
nipples hard, roughened by the towel
like the touch of a lover.
Everything normal


on the surface.  No 
signs of nature's dirty trick
buried in the fatty tissue
spreading its hold, rooting
into my flesh.  My flesh,
its object of desire.


Now, a solo globe buoyant
in the water's warm mouth,
a red line over my heart, 
a torso that winks at me 
in that same mirror
as I dry off, my nipple hard.


How smoothly the body seduces the mind.





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