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Biopsy in Pink

I arrive on a metal table, my underlife 
flooding the screen. I am famous—the entire

picture, edge to edge, unseemly bloom,
a van Dongen with too much rouge.

Take a piece from the blackened whole
and spread me under a microscope.

I’ll be the one wearing flowers, a hand-sized
hibiscus rippling behind my ear like

a warning with sequins and foghorn:
abnormal cell cluster at 9 and 4.

A clock in my breast and the seconds
twitch, inching forward like scalpels.

My scintillating cilia full of frill, thrill
of the grotesque, its misshapen promise.

The doctor says, Pick a shape for your scar:
a frown or grin,
incised across my heart.

Now smile for the giant eye of God.



This poem is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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