Poetry 2010 / Volume 41

Bust — Paul Hostovsky

That summer I was 16,
which came on the heels
of the spring that I was 16,
which came in the middle

of my 16-year-old body
like the sweetest of
pollen counts, Faith Roffman
unbuttoned her blouse

and let me see her breasts,
and also let me touch them,
and kiss them, and suck them.
She was 18 and I was 16,

and it was a short spring
that summer, and then she
left for college and I never
saw her or her breasts again.

That fall we took a field trip
to the museum, and there among
the busts of the Greek and Roman
gods, I saw Faith’s breasts–I swear

to God. They were hers. I mean
I should know. I mean I knew
their shape by heart, and lo–
there they were, on display

for the whole world to see, plain as
the nose on my face which
I was just dying to bury between
those breasts impersonating the breasts

of Faith Roffman. But our history
teacher herded us into the next room then,
and it was full of Egyptian sarcophagi,
which looked a lot like bathtubs,

though really they were coffins.

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