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by Jennifer Lagier

Warrior females valued taut bow string,
burnt away obtrusive nipple and flesh.
You bite down on leather, 
endure cautery torch.
Later, you bandage ragged stitches,
dump what drains from flatness.
This is what Amazons do,
the cost to survive.

"Mastectomy" originally appeared in Plainsongs.

Jennifer Lagier has published fourteen books, edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium readings. Forthcoming chapbook: Camille Mobilizes (FutureCycle Press). Visit her website: jlagier.net