Mammogram after the Death of a Friend

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Anna M. Evans

Mammogram after the Death of a Friend


      The tech’s gloved hands pull at my breast like pork.
      The plexiglass descends on tender flesh.
      I fill the awkwardness with casual talk;
      the plates revolve with their relentless swish.
      I’ve done this every year for more than ten.
      It hurts more than the “pinch” they always claim,
      but I know next year I’ll be back again,
      and then I think, I wish she’d done the same

      because she’s dead—breast cancer, metastatic.
      I hear her voice again: It’s everywhere.
      Undiagnosed because asymptomatic
      until it wasn’t. She didn’t have a prayer.
      I’m angry at her, I’ll admit, if pressed.
      I step back, turn, offer the other breast.