BREAST EXAM by Zola Gonzalez-Macarambon

No, they do no such bother.

In the right holsters, nothing

that dig at the ribs

like the arms of a first-time lover,

they are soft dough rising

on the counter for an hour

under a moist towel. They do

however get sticky in the heat

and yes, I know it is recommended

by Men’s Health

to hose them down

in a white t-shirt, preferrably

at a party or a car wash.

I do not have a car nor

go to parties, not lately.

Mostly, I’m in the kitchen

where sometimes, when all else

is in the hamper, I put on my only pair

with the slight squeeze and push

for some height from the sink

and stove with the heat and oil splatter.

I do, take care of them, I promise.

I have 2 aprons, one that wraps

around the waist like in Masterchef’s

and one with the hemming

in ruffles like the seaweed on Ariel.

She has nice breasts too, I would say,

but mine are quite healthy

given how hard they work

despite the bare minimum

maintainance they’re afforded.

They cleave to hold my keys,

some coins for the carollers, a pen,

like an extra hand especially lately

when the other two are always

either bowl-deep dry rubbing

chickens, or testing the hypo-allergenic

properties of soap. They carry

load, more quietly

than insoles on heels,

confidences more discretely

than lips hovering over coffee.

Hard at work little hills that keep my cigarette

dry until the end of the day

when I throw out the trash

and blow smoke circles upwind.

Zola Gonzalez-Macarambon lives in the Philippines. She teaches with the Languages, Humanities, and Philosophy Department of Capitol University, in her hometown Cagayan de Oro City, Northern Mindanao.

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