Seaview is an accurate name for this hotel
if you angle your body, stretch to look past
golfers, and call the bay a sea. President Harding

bet on each hole on this course. That last
hole goes home, they say, takes you back
to the hotel bar. Grace Kelly danced

with her father at her sweet sixteen ball
in the Oval Room. In a cold office my doctor
lifted his phone to photograph my breast.

Something wrong, something I should
have seen myself. Next, testing, surgery,
phoned reports. It’s been proved—what you

love best in a loved face is the anomaly,
nose a bit tilted, mouth too generous, one
eye slightly higher, eyebrow bending

asymmetrically. I wish for each woman health
for her favorite feature (nose, legs, pouting
mouth. Or mind, compassion, ambition).

Out in the night a fishhook arcs up
toward the farthest cloud. To each of you
in this hotel tonight I wish birthday candles

dripping wax. I have something beautiful
for you, or you have it in you or beside
you or it’s out the window in the trundling waves.


THE FLAWED BREAST by Barbara Daniels



Photo by Anita Jankovic on Unsplash