Friends, I have always favored
the skin of my forearms and hands.
Tiny freckles like flecks
of tan sand; my personal dot-to-dot.
You know, I have a favorite,
hiding in the crease of my knuckle
on my right ring finger.
My wrists bear no inflicted keepsakes.
Though needle and ink
were commissioned to inspire
a permanent reminder–
there is always more to say.
Arrow drawn on forearm
I am not the target.
And yet friends I must confess,
I have always hated my breasts.
I went to sleep a child and woke
to the body of woman.
And I am only ten when my mom tells
me to wear a bra
with my nightgown.
It became the summer of suddenly banned
tank tops and a one piece bathing suit required
a tee-shirt over that, too. These lopsided
globes, this mass of excess became mockery.
A comparison to Dolly Parton,
or my own Aunt Veda, both with reputations
along the colossal.
Boys and “uncles” paid
more attention, teased,
and harassed bra straps.
Friends, do you know
what color my eyes are?
Probably not, as if eye color
matters. Men never look up
when they ask me to dinner,
they are only there for the dessert.
My friend has perfect breasts, like those in Cosmo.
The kind that compliment
a body, you know, attractively noticeable
but not overtly distracting.
Perky, like a mango that is ripe.
Exquisite to fit in the palm
of your, my…hmmm.
And yet mine, are none
of those things — always awkward
or in the way. Are the reason buttons
strain and twist or snaps
threaten divorce, and are without fail
the why, when explaining
a stain on my favorite shirt.
But then again, this skin
became a cradle
of soft breath and eyes
looked up at me
and well, to amend,
I do not hate them.
They do have some perks.
Obviously I know how to appreciate
the fullness, a buxom display.
How breasts can be ample, sexy, soft,
and supple, dare I say vivacious.
I like the way they bounce
when I walk and the smile they bring when I tempt
my husband with a quick flash.
Friends, let me however exclaim – this,
this once despised flesh is the wonder
where I fed my first and second born.
It is where I learned
hands — palms up, placed
with forearms open…well that
is where hugs begin.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heather Pease’s debut book of poetry is Out of the Weeds. Her work has also appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual 2019/2020. Her poetry centers on feminism, sexuality, identity, and mental health. Heather aims to make people think about subjects often stigmatized through society. She lives in Southern California and is the host of OC Speakeasy, a poetry venue at the world-famous House of Blues. She is a founding member of OC Poets a community based group dedicated to sharing poetry venues, workshops, and poet features throughout Orange County.