Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dear Breasts

This is one of my favourite 'breast' pieces, and a perfect love letter to be posting on Valentine's Day. I was just going to quote specific paragraphs, but couldn't decide so here it is in its entirety:

'Dear Breasts,

If I had you surgically removed, would you: a) feel abandoned, b) haunt me, c) notice? There's not much of you there, but I'm sure I'd miss you. I might miss you when my lover forgets and grabs for you to find nothing but her own disappointment. I might miss you when I have a baby and there's nothing on me for hir to feed on. The thing is, I feel very confused about you. People look at my face, then for you, to see who I am. They look to see if you're there, right as they're saying Sir to me. Yet they're still not sure what I am.

"Sir, you're in the wrong line." The only time they think they're sure is when my shirt is off and they make me cover you. "Ma'am, I'mgoing to have to ask you to put your shirt back on." I don't know which way to go. I don't really want to bind you down. I won't wear a bra. I just want to wear a t-shirt all by itself. I want to stop confusing people because confusing people feels dangerous. I think I'd rather them assume that you're not there and you never were.

Does this make you sad? It makes me sad. Does it make sense to keep you if I try to hide you? I can love you. Can I set you free? Would you understand? Would I? Would I feel more comfortable in the world? Would I ever be asked to cover you again? Would I still be in danger? Would I be in more danger? Would I be more dangerous? Would my mother notice? You're so small. I wonder who would miss you. Would you haunt me in my dreams, in my waking, in my sex? Would you appear in visions trying to find your way back to me from the pile of fatty tissue in the biohazard bin? I could keep you in a jar of formaldehyde on my altar, or in my freezer. I could take you out of my freezer and introduce you to new lovers so they don't miss out on you entirely.

I could have a fundraiser. I could film the surgery for an art project. I could project the surgery onto the wall while reading Our Bodies, Ourselves to an audience. We could be famous! My dear breasts, I could continue to bind you and itch and slouch. I could just be happy with the body that god gave me. I could change the world instead of myself. But as they say, Think Globally, Act Locally. When I think or speak of this, I think I might be hurting you, but you love torture. Or is it me that loves to have you tortured? For all I know, you hate to be clamped and bruised. For all I know this letter could be an answer to your deepest prayers. This is not a goodbye letter. I'm just trying to understand you and me, and why we're here together in this lifetime. Maybe in a past life, I was your hand and you were my one true love. This is a love letter. Talk to me. '

- Storm Florenz
'Dear Breast'
in From The Inside Out (ed Diamond)

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