Babette Cieskowski Fibroid

My youth is the size of a ripe plum, a stillborn

duckling cut at the neck. In Exam Room 3, a stranger

is shoving his hand into me. My paper gown stops

mid-thigh. Relax, he says, and pushes through, searching

for the last golden egg, the prize that will end this hunt.

I stare at the photo of clouds taped to the ceiling. I can’t help

but see my mother, or a tumor the size of a grapefruit.

After my brother’s birth, she cleaned house. Put her parts

in a bag with the other dead things: the koi I shook

in the carnival bag, the kitten I loved, but starved. Her youth

was the size of a baby’s skull. I can hear her telling me

now: You’re grown. Shut it up. Cut it out.


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