A.J. Collins


Significant appendages can’t take

vacations. And, no flesh-replacement available, sometimes


carbon fiber becomes near-human with use, sometimes a beige lobe of silicone


hardly held by a bra. A newborn,

oblivious to his mothers’ past breast-cancer trauma,

kneads the ordained suckling-place, its offering subtracted

years ago. While the child is present, warm against his source,


the fake breast tries to replace what had to be lost.

Its weight, wholly separate, offers

nothing against destruction—a poor talisman. Sometimes a joke about


ghost limbs, about a whore who faked her shudder, claiming

so good when you wiggle, silent-sighing jeez, get up


inside, it’s your nickel. Seeing their reflection in the mirror,

the john saw this stand-in hand him a strap-on and said

irregardless, I’ll be a part of you.