“Boob Job” by Kim Dower

Kim Dower


Trying on clothes in the backroom
of Loehmann’s, a stranger invites me
to feel her breasts, a stranger trying on
dresses that don’t fit and I can see
her breasts are larger than they want
to be, and she can see I’m watching,
asks me to help zip her up and I struggle
to pull her in, smooth out her sunburned skin,
tug, ask her to shake herself in, she tells me
she just got them, didn’t know they’d come out
so big, isn’t sure she likes them, not even her
husband cares, he’s not a breast man, she says,
he’s an ass man but I’m not getting an ass job,
good, I say, because how do you even get an ass job,
do you want to feel them, she asks, and I do, so I do
and they feel like bean bags you’d toss at a clown’s face
at a kid’s party, I squeeze them both at the same time,
cup my hands underneath them, she says, go ahead,
squeeze some more, it’s not sexual, aren’t they heavy,
I don’t want to have them around every day, her nipples
headlights staring into the dressing room mirror, red scars
around the circumferences, angry circles I want to run
my finger around, you should have seen them before
I had them lifted, they were long drooping points,
couldn’t stand looking at them anymore, can I see yours,
so I show her, so small hers could eat mine alive,
nipples like walnuts, do you think I should make mine
bigger, and there we are examining one another’s boobs,
touching, talking about them like they aren’t there,
don’t matter, forgetting how it felt when we were twelve
or thirteen, one morning when they first appeared
sore, swollen, exciting, new, when they had the power
to turn us into women we no longer knew.

from Rattle #40, Summer 2013


Kim Dower: “The ideas and lines I’ve had for poems while eavesdropping and people watching in the famous Loehmann’s communal dressing room could fill countless notebooks, but ‘Boob Job’ took me by surprise. I awakened in the middle of the night with images from my afternoon spent zipping and unzipping the back of a stranger’s dress and the poem poured out. Nothing beats a twisted shopping experience for inspiration!” (web)

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