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Chuka Susan Chesney

Post Mastectomy Shoppe

On Brand Boulevard in a suburb of Angels
is a corset shop a lingerie store
Inside you’ll find along with sexy bras
a full array of breast prostheses
I visit the shop with my friend Alexis
after her mastectomy
as she recovers

The breast forms have nipples
made of plastic
Alexis tries one on behind a curtain
The form fits neatly
into the pocket
of a wire-free bra
beneath her blouse

The owner steps inside to assist Alexis
who’s sobbing as she fastens
the hooks into eyes

The owner says Don’t cry
or I’ll start crying

While Alexis swipes her card for bras and plastic
we noticed nipple labels in the case below
peony and rosewood-tinged areolae
similar to wreaths
and other stickers
Alexis pastes on backs
of Christmas envelopes

After a while
Alexis decides
her new breast forms
protrude like ping pong balls
She drives to Nordstrom and purchases
some more
says the new ones
are homey like
squishy bean bags

Chuka Susan Chesney, a graduate of Art Center College of Design, is an artist, poet, short-story writer, and editor. Her award-winning paintings and sculpture have been shown in galleries across the country. Her poems and short stories have been published on three continents. Chesney's anthology of poetry and art "Lottery Blues", coedited by Ulrica Perkins will be published by Little Red Tree in 2020.

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