AT THE INSIGHT ULTRASOUND LAB FOR A BREAST CANCER SCREENING AFTER THE MAMMOGRAM FINDS IRREGULARITIES
white petals spilling from the walls.
The breast over the heart, exposed.
What can enter the heart, what cannot.
A family history without cancer.
Where I’ll be in a year. Where I won’t be.
The sound of the ultrasound machine, ticking
over each bombed-out cell. This room,
the calm gray-scale of a spa treatment center.
How technology breaks the body
into pixels. Into patterns. Into dim light.
My husband, not allowed in, waiting outside.
The hand that writes this. The wait & weight & wait.
The quiet before our lives change forever like the seconds
before a car crash.
The body’s wreckage. The beauty of it.
This record as archive as testimony as trivial.
How we’ll tell our children. How we’ll be remembered. How?
It was once thought possible for people to fly.
Heaven is a place I can’t imagine.
All the years I hated my body. The mirrors. The life it gives me.
A reason not to mourn. Any reason.
Five of us, together in future photos,
our bodies silhouetted by the sun.
ABOUT THE POET
Chelsea Dingman’s first book, Thaw, was chosen by Allison Joseph to win the National Poetry Series (University of Georgia Press, 2017). Her second book, Through a Small Ghost, won the Georgia Poetry Prize and was published in February 2020. Her recent work can be found in The Southern Review, The New England Review, and The Kenyon Review, among others.
ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW
We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.