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The Luminous Mysteries, a poem by Michelle Brooks

The Luminous Mysteries
by Michelle Brooks

For the better part of an hour, I sit
in an examination room, my nose
dripping onto the butcher paper,
having feigned interest in the fake
breast handed to me by a doctor
at this urgent care. I had only hoped
for a quick shot of antibiotics to make
me well once more. After the door
shuts, I drape my red coat over my legs,
the coat I bought at a thrift store in Grosse
Pointe, only a few miles from this decimated
city I loved upon first sight. The doctor
instructed me to practice on this model
until he returned with a script. He takes
my word for my condition, and grabs the breast
from my hand, telling me a girl can never be
too careful, and self-exams are the first line
of defense. Don’t ask me how I ended up
here. I’ve never been good at directions.

Michelle Brooks has published a collection of poetry, Make Yourself Small, (Backwaters Press), and a novella, Dead Girl, Live Boy, (Storylandia Press). She says she spent a summer in Gary with a now ex- boyfriend. She says she loves Gary, even as the boyfriend did not fare as well. A native Texan, she has spent much of her adult life in Detroit.