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Editor's Note


SNR's Writers


A Short History Of Her Right Breast
The heart is closer to the left
and therefore further from the right breast
her first born refused
after three months. His back
arched with the ache
he'll never remember his brother
was born content. After she returned
to work, he'd wait for the milky
hours nursing the starless
night as dark as a secret
the time she had her right nipple
pierced, felt the hidden
history of pleasure soon to be
removed the day she found
the lump. The doctor felt it too,
said there was things she'd have
to do as she sat watching
the slant of his right hand
signing x-ray forms, a request
to the radiologist to complicate
the short history of her right breast.

I can't gargle
and I can't spit it out.
My mother asks "Are you worried?"
and I listen to her cry.
Why does she cry over a lump
in my right breast? As yet,
it has no name. It feels more solid
than fluid
rippling through the sound of a baby's
that echoes in the church
I remember scripture,
stained glass and a gargoyle
keeping the evil
away from those who believe
and hymns
will always be heard.

On Train 27
From Beijing to Lhasa
which used to be
named Rasa after goats
history has changed to accommodate
in the souvenir shop
in the White Palace the Dalai Lama
fled to India
before you or I were born
the world kept turning
as it will long after you or I die.
Our tombstone
will be forgotten, out of place
as any Westerner
without oxygen
tubes in Tibet
I have no regrets,
no fear of death. This is not
to say I haven't felt any pain
my head in shame.

Copyright 2009, Alison Eastley. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.

Alison Eastley has published work in Wicked Alice, Mannequin Envy, Segue, Ascent, foam:e, Why Vandalism, many small print literary journals and other excellent on-line literary magazines. After a long history of nursing on a busy/tragic surgical ward ended because of a work-related injury, she is studying for a business certificate and it is driving her insane as it does not suit her interests and her computer is not up with all of Bill Gates's software, making some assignments impossible.