Can't Quite Fill the Space
I remember my first one. I guess I was about 13,
at least that’s what I consider to be the first “real” one.
Not pretend, like the ones my mom bought me
when I was 11 or 12. This one wasn’t stretchy;
it had that all important number-letter combination,
and I had to try on several before finding the perfect one.
I remember standing before the three-way mirror,
admiring the way it gently propped up my soft white flesh,
creating the subtle nuance of curves…
curves that I hoped would catch the attention of Bobby
and Mike and Steve and Doug,
but mostly Bobby.
I remember the little blue forget-me-nots, and the row
of lace picot adorning the ridge, the satin white bow in the center,
and the double hook I had mastered, fastening behind my back
without looking. Anxious for the first time
my future boyfriend would uncock it with a single hand.
I remember the one I bought when I was 23.
It stayed in its box for 7 months, in the bedroom down the hall,
in a basket filled with onesies, receiving blankets, and rags
to drape over my shoulder. I couldn’t wait to wear that one.
It wasn’t quite as pretty as what I had become accustomed to wearing,
but I couldn’t wait for the first time I’d fold down the flaps,
let down my milk, and hear the coo, sweet suckling
of my newborn baby boy.
I remember the one I purchased when I was 36 –
both in size and age. It was my first one in red,
hoping “Ruby Temptress” would live up to its name,
hoping to rekindle a flame, before the next cool wind
extinguished the final flicker.
No such miracle occurred. No such secret revealed.
It’s a cool day in October.
Today I remember 13. I remember 23. I remember 36.
Today, there are no little blue flowers
or alluring shades of scarlet to choose.
There is only the white one, sterile with a flap, this time
only on the left side, where I believe the surgeon
may have also cut away a piece of my heart.
And the prosthetic can’t quite fill the space.