A Brief History of Breasts
by Micah Ling
- As a child, little enough that a girl’s chest
- and a boy’s looked no different,
- you’d pull your shirt off: peel it
- in one swift motion like a man
- in a movie; you’d kick the dirt and gravel,
- a little bull, unsure exactly how to fight,
- but ready to try your little girl fists at anything.
- In fifth grade, Mrs. Shoemaker had big droopy boobs
- and a glass eye. She said it was like seeing through
- your thumb—it wasn’t seeing darkness—
- it was no sight at all.
- Pulling laundry from the dryer—smelling the hot
- elastic from your first sports bra, your best friend
- screamed for help—his father was being electrocuted—
- by his motorcycle’s spark plug—couldn’t let go—
- or stop the current until the battery had drained.
- In graduate school, you rescued a gaunt boxer
- from an abandoned farmhouse: all skin
- and bones and tits. Puppies gone. She looked at you
- like a mother, because the only thing stronger than milk
- is trust.
Packingtown Review – Vol.8, Winter 2016/2017
Micah Ling's most recent collection of poetry is Flashes of Life, out on Hobart Press. She lives in the mountains of Colorado.