A Poem by C.M. Mildred Kabik

Lady MacBRCA

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.