17 Days After Mastectomy & Axillary Dissection of Lymph Nodes: A Love Poem

17 Days After Mastectomy & Axillary Dissection of Lymph Nodes: A Love Poem

17 Days After Mastectomy & Axillary Dissection of Lymph Nodes: A Love Poem


We think we let the world in—
how oxidation slowly turns the avocado
dimple by lovely dimple
from green to brown to black; O oxygen
how you react to polyphenols, how
enzymes love us too much, too wanting
wringing with desire, slick & wet & biochemical
so we must breathe in the soot & we must
exhale our own toxins; the way of any living
thing is to live
, they say; what if all the theys
are wrong? what if the living never came
easy in the first place? what if I keep
removing pieces of you: shuck of appendix,
shuck of gallbladder, shuck of knee, now,
shuck of breast, shuck of nodes? cenotes
of us: carved from our tissues, our fluid-filled ____;
where we must & always swim—but we were wrong.
We world, wholly; planet of flesh, ripening.
Let wind, let sun consume; fruit of us
to elements; let’s engulf & gulp in remembering
w/holes: the whole world claws & thunders inside
these vessels, this lymphatic system to make us
immune—as if, as if—immune to what? Parts of us
let go into stars beyond this planet: call these petri-
dish bound
, call these cancer evictions; what I know
of never returning: a star before super nova senses
the future rupture: premonition echoes: transform.

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