I swap scar stories in a bar
———–with a woman over whiskey gingers,

voices strain over blurred background
———–noise, my sneakers stick to unwashed

floor. Split lip, stovetop burn, a knife
———–slipped to the quick against damp skin. Scalpel

on flesh. We find we share twin surgical scars,
———–crooked, pale crescent moons, thin as thread.

We delight in the knowledge
———–that our scar-sides even match—left breast.

Talk turns to everything shared: moon signs,
———–blood types. We agree to trade kidneys

for fun. At midnight I am tipsy, golden
———–in love with every leaving stranger

in the dim light. I say I’ll meet her again
———–in oncology, beneath the Y in the sign,

when tumors pop back up
———–like stubborn mushrooms, inevitable

in the soft clover patches of our breast tissue,
———–thriving in the absence of sunlight beneath skin.

We hug, plan to reunite
———–in our sixties. We both say we believe in believing

in optimism, so we know it won’t be
———–soon, skip each trip to the doctor.



Rebecca Poynor