Ode to the Breast
“…courage to make a clean breast of it.” Arthur Schopenhauer
What of the unclean breast
adorned with palm prints
pressed from hungry babies suckling,
the breast that hushes the baby,
soothes the “nuisance,” quells the colic
(in private, never public, of course);
or “the baby is allergic to your milk” breast,
better this formula, this powder, this chemical than your breast?
Oh, the black/brown/beige breast
drained dry by blue-eyed greed and pinked cheek!
What of the sagging breast,
the nipple to the knee or kiss the earth breast,
the perkiest breast, nipple tipped skyward
never kissed by blushing sun or rosy wind?
What of the fluffed, nipples rezoned, siliconic breast,
the bound and gagged, “don’t-wannabe-a-woman” breast,
the “might as well go ahead and remove it” breast
because your mother and sister had breast cancer
and you will probably have breast cancer too?
Oh, the MIA breast, invisible flesh yet wreaking wrath and lamentation!
What of the freed and flayed breast valuable,
though never priceless on magazine covers,
in centerfolds, on newsstands, on street corners
bursting through blouses in convenience stores, gas stations,
threatening the safety of the airport and freeways,
tempting priests/preachers in their bulging pulpits?
Oh, the breast that garnishes “the industry”
selling cunt, cars, cosmetics
(in public, never private, of course)!
What of the leprous breasts marred and decaying
from lack of love or loving,
the breast sprinkled with landmines,
bearing boot prints of AWOL soldiers?
Oh, the breast that quells the hunger of a lover
(though he be loveless),
paints blue balls brown or pink again!
What of the breast raging protest, keening
lest her sisters suffering be forgotten and still
cradling the world in her capacitized cleavage?
A breast clean? Really?