The Survivor’s Job is to Scream by Erica Sternin

Let the body speak, make meaning of suffering,

“For whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly,”

Doctor King wrote from his prison.

The surgeon cuts flesh and muscle.

And, while unconscious,

The body registers a life threatening event.

Pathology report dated 10/17/2011:

Received a fresh, labeled, right breast…”

(It was my breast).

“sectioned into twenty-three slices.

The nipple is in slice eleven.”

(My nipple!)

“Final diagnosis positive

For metastatic carcinoma”*

Now, let us begin calling the spirit into the body.

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

Let the body speak;

The survivor’s job is to scream.


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