Summer 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 3 Poetry |

Our Breast

for Alicia Ostriker Coming back to this place in the mountains, after a year-- late August, and throughout the whole monsoon this flat has been locked up: a musty smell, a dampness, marking everything. Even the wood seems limp. On top of the bureau so warped I can't fully open or close the drawers, there's a rag-tag pile of old papers--electric bills, chits from the seller of coal, made out to "U. D. Memsahib." Imagine! For years, to him, U. D. is who I've been. And this year-old letter from you, friend-- how you're winging it, brewing your estrogen treatment: a little of this, a little less of that (your breasts are heavier; but so are your waist and hips). "Maybe you think you're not interested now in estrogen--but you will be, believe me!" Believe you? It's no trouble at all believing you--but will it be like my ninth-grade revelation: Thank god I live in modern times! If I have to have a baby they can knock me out. Yet twenty years later I arrived at it,

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