Venus Examines Her Breast

She’s pissed at all the minor milk ducts
flaring in her one remaining breast. Oh
shit, she says, and sets her chin
as ages flip in mock somnambulism, too
lean of mind to expect much from a goddess.
Oh stadiums of light, oh babble.
Aspiration takes seconds, the lump
a syringe of cloudy lemon soup. Look,
says the Doc, Now aren’t we a happy camper?
Venus packs her tools for Rome where
everything is so expensive yet familiar.
She poses and sculpts in turn, naked
as a snake-shaped scar, chipping slowly
at 17th century stone. Nothing
gets better than this, she thinks: Nipple,
lymph glands, bowling arm flexed
to capacity. I can shift out of first!
Making love, she reminds herself to stay
anchored in the mirrored now. You’re
gorgeous, she says, flushing, leaning in.

Read “Fickle Myths,” three linked stories by Maureen Seaton and Neil de la Flor

See Maureen Seaton’s art, poetry and an interview at
“Venus Examines Her Breast” is available from Carnegie Mellon University Press at