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After the Mammogram

"How many other cells will be sacrificed  to make the body free? "

Published onMar 03, 2024
After the Mammogram

Photo by The National Cancer Institute:

Staring at the image on the screen  
was like looking at a constellation  
when earth’s electricity is turned off.  
Hundreds of little lights  
among the nebulous clouds of veins and tissue.  
Are there living beings among those stars? 
Is this universe benign or malignant?  
Even here, in this tiny, yet vast, galaxy,  
will there be those that are misshapen or wounded,  
whose intent is to harm or kill?  
Should they be removed?  
Or can they be loved into their truest self,  
into what they were meant to do?  
Will a surgeon’s scalpel be precise enough?  
How many other cells will be sacrificed  
to make the body free?  
I ask these questions as I open  
the newspaper to the headlines.  
As I listen to talk of war on the train.  
Can we align our bodies  
with the true music of the stars?  

Margaret Anne Kean received her BA in British/American Literature from Scripps College and her MFA from Antioch University/Los Angeles. Her debut chapbook collection, Cleaving the Clouds, was published by Kelsay Books in 2023. Her work has appeared in Eunoia Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, San Antonio Review, Drizzle Review, EcoTheo Review, Halcyon Days and Tupelo Quarterly. Kean lives in Pasadena, California. 

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