by Kathryn Kirkpatrick
Of course I meant to tell him.
I waited for the right moment
like a farmer waits for rain.
But how do you tell a man
you want for a lover
you have only one breast?
For years before I met him
I wore that prosthesis like armor,
no more sloppy stares at my chest,
no eyes of a stranger half-mast
then back to my face, full
of the difference. Okay, it’s the missed
step on the stair for a while. It’s
a new kind of balance. But muscadines
and butternut squash still taste sweet.
So when John reached for me that night,
we were both on the brink of knowing
who we might be, his breath fast
at my neck, our urgent pushing up
of my skirt, and then the sweet thrust
let fly that weighted rubber breast
over our heads and across the room.
For a moment I was only my heart’s
staccato, pleasure the same beat
as fear. I suppose there might have been
tears. But I remember the laughter,
on and on, both of us at once.
Later when we made love again,
I took off my clothes. He put his hand
on the smooth, rm-nippled plane
of my chest, and I came home.