Filled with direst genetic cruelty,
malignant cells are nature’s mischief. On
the operating table, unsex me.
Pluck off my nipple, fold the skin to bone.
The once esteemed ornament of life is
merely the faulty breast of a woman
absent of the milk of human kindness—
and now also the ducts, nodules, and glands—
the channels reduced to a rough framework.
Still I am and will be a woman made
with a sticking place to screw, yet no more
visiting of nature cycles within.
No spot on hands or panties to get out,
for now removed are my feminine folds
cut clean by a keen knife, never to feed
a hungering human mouth or drop one
other precious orb of potential life
through passages of mortal origin.
Blanket me in darkness, thicken my blood
with sightless substances, unsex me here
on this damned operating table, where
what is done cannot be undone again.
C.M. Mildred Kabik teaches creative writing, literature, and communications at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster, PA. She holds a Master's in English from Arcadia University and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. She was awarded a Saltire Scholarship through the Edwin Morgan Trust to study Scottish Literature at the University of Edinburgh in 2016. She is currently working on a collection of poems that explore the human body and the many betrayals a person can experience within their own skin.