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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.  

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