Mastodon, Kevin LeMaster

Craig Goodworth, Bull Foetus (tie wire and metal rod), 2010



when I kiss the breast
we almost buried

its nipple disappears
into an earth of flesh

so much denser than
before—that it needs
more attention

than its soft and supple
counterpart and I am left to
caress what isn’t there as
if it is a new untouched canvas

when you had your last
mammogram—they kneaded
it like overworked dough
a flower—longing to rise again

a blooming bud awakened
from a hibernating slumber
to spread its silken petals

no one talks about
the elephant in the room

just in case it is facing

Kevin LeMaster


Review by Ilari Pass

LeMaster took me inside this poem with him, rather than just looking at it through someone else’s window. He wanted me to come inside the poem because there aren’t any consequences apparent on the surface. And I am grateful for the opportunity to go inside the poem without disturbing it. It’s beautiful. I will forever be haunted by this poem. I love the narrative—short and to the point! First, it’s sensual and erotic until you reach the fifth stanza, and then I’m like…”Whoa!” The images took my breath away—it is poignant and brave; which anyone may question how can one create art about something so personal…or the possible extinction of what is most precious? In this case, what it means to be a woman with just one or no breasts.


Review by Mary Giudice

There’s nothing like near-loss to draw the loving, sustained attention of a poet. The breast in this poem is ordinary as a lump of overworked dough and as important as an elephant. A body part that is treated like an object to examine in a medical setting is dearly loved by the person who lives in–and with–the whole body. I laughed at the comparison to the almost-extinct animal, but also found myself moved by this warm, caring , human response to what would be so coldly recorded in the medical charts.


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