Surviving Breast Cancer

Breast cancer

I look at the flamingos,
Going from one limb to two wings.
I look at a woman, my wife, whose mastectomy
Made her go from two to one breast,
While her hospital gown had a little pink ribbon on it,
That broadcasted a stark reality,
That used to swell out from her chest.
And I walked to her, soon after the operation,
When she took off her hospital gown
And showed me where the cut was.
And I looked at her, partly
In pain, wondering what would happen
To me if my orchards were uprooted.
Empathy can be so harsh sometimes.

I realized that she stood beyond
That reasoning now, how even in the absence
Of a seemingly expelled feminineness,
She stood defiant, courageous and proud,
The little ribbon on her gown,
Told me how she was a survivor,
And I was now stuck in a defying moment,
Looking at where a pound of flesh
Used to be, knowing that I had
To be more of a man now, than ever before.
And so emptied of my wife’s breast,
I fell in love with her all over again.

How I grew to cup one phantom breast,
To feel a flat valley below
Her clavicle, the places that I still feel,
From the ridges of my ambidextrous fingers.
How she challenges my libido more now,
How in the deficiency of one breast, I still
See her as the complete woman. How I never
Really notice the stitch marks, or the deformations,
As we let passion control us,
Still in a well-lit bedroom, when I stare at her,
In the same fashion, as years before.
The surgeon’s knife could not carve out,
The passion that sweeps through us,
Like a tropical cyclone. How I grew to love her,
Like one of those one-legged flamingos,
In her recurring trysts, with
A pink brine shrimp.

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