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To the Girl Who Just Found a Lump

By Sascha Cohen

Wear all your favorite perfumes now:

your Serge Lutens and your Frederic Malle

Soon you’ll smell just like the hospital

The top notes are saline and alcohol

The base notes are soiled linens and decay,

waste leaking from wounds,

everything unlovable

Braid bows and ribbons

into your long hair

Pile the curls up like a layer cake

on the top of your head

Bat your lashes like an angelic doll

Soon you’ll turn from woman to worm,

ordinary and featureless,

and no one

will behold you with desire

Show off your teardrop breasts

every chance you get:

wear pasties seashells sequins

or wear nothing, take photos and send them

to strangers, spill yourself

into the lucky mouths of lovers

Soon you’ll have silicone globes

sewn tightly onto your chest, bloodless,

numb, and never warm

in anyone’s hands

Now say it,

you poor, doomed beauty.

Say it like someone is clutching you by the jaw.

Say you’re so grateful to be alive.


Sascha Cohen is a writer from Los Angeles.

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