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Ovarian-cyst Eulogy

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not all women are ghosts*.
This truth I know, attested to by
precariously splitting ganglions,
the fast-decaying gurgles of
ancient seas, and trenches
riven through wide deserts
of perfectly pale skin.

My hands mutate like butterflies.

A simple mislaid chromosome,
fathering large feet and excesses of hair,
prompts this finger to unfurl
and shed skin as prettily as any
small cocoon. The metamorphic bone
caterpillaring its way into a future
of butterfly nerve endings
teaches me that some reincarnations
require surgical intervention.

I wonder if Precambrian microbes
had the choice to be raised wearing
blush, sundresses, ease
instead of old tuxedos and second-hand bulimia.

Surely any eternity of split-end hauntings
would be better than the uneasy phantomhood
of wearing your life in the wrong flesh.

*Adapted from the opening line of “Ghosts” by Anne Sexton



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