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ABALONE

by Karen Jandorf

I must have PMS. 
I'm holding a shell  a breast-shaped shell  and that pisses me off. 
Why couldn't I be holding a conch or a clam shell? 
Why does the one I was given have to resemble a breast? 
It even has a nipple, for God's sake!
Today I am angry. 
Angry that I have no breasts. 
Angry that reconstruction is such a detestable option to me. 
Angry that I'm as flat as a table. 
Angry that my breastbone hurts when I hug. 
Angry that I used to like the feel of being naked 
    and now can't dress fast enough. 
Angry that I can't imagine ever making love again without a shirt on. 
I'm angry.
Angry that I got a seashell shaped like a breast and not like a clam. 
Unbelievable.                                                                                                                        
God, I hope I get my period soon!

This poem was written in response to a sea shell prompt in a cancer writing group. It has previously appeared in A Healing Journey, by Sharon Bray.