Dianne Oberhansly

Her father says she is growing speed
bumps, a reference to her thirteen-year-old
breasts, soft hilltops beneath a yellow
tee shirt.  The words blossom
and Houdini come to mind.  After all,

a kind of magic is at work.  Fleshy
lumps and curves, she is
being made while

an older friend of mine is
slowly being unmade,
her breast whittled away
by something once thought magic
and now called medicine.

It seems life is wasteful, spilling
so much excess, allowing
so much beauty that even the cancer
when magnified
looks like a delicate snow crystal.  The
thirteen year old giggles

not yet knowing that what is given
can be taken away, suddenly
in a white sterile room smelling

of betadine and money.  Once
undergoing surgery, I awoke, looked up into
the surprised and slightly fuzzy face
of the doctor, asked him if I could
see the incision he’d made.  Hesitantly

he agreed.  I raised my head, peered
across the bare white field of my chest,
saw the newborn hole—a single wet red rose,
the scalpel’s offering.  Then,
with the doctor’s nod, his assistant
flooded me with twilight.