The Year My Breasts Became Wings

was the same year you lost one of yours. Not in the market or the coat closet, but to the surgeon’s knife. Your chest flat as a boy’s on the left side. Flatter. Concave, muscle scooped out with a melon baller. But you didn’t stop wearing tank tops. Didn’t think twice about reaching across the table for the butter, revealing the barbed wire scar. It scared me, which is why I started looking at my breasts more closely. Balancing on the edge of the tub so I could see myself in the medicine cabinet mirror, or standing on the counter, bending over until my neck was stiff. I would hold them in my hands, measuring the weight of one against the other. I felt the prickle before I saw it. It felt like a whisker. A pimple? Upon closer inspection a small, grey follicle. I tugged it free and out a feather. So long one might say plume. I rubbed my thumb over the once-smooth lake of my skin and found more feathers rippling to surface, quivering to take flight.



Danielle Jones-Pruett holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cider Press Review, DMQ Review, Midway Journal, Verse Daily, and others. She was recently awarded the John Holmes Award which, as far as she knows, has nothing to do with the porn star.