Kirsten E. Ogden
Motherís breasts are now darkened
moons. On the cover of her book an Ama diver
smiles, naked, rope tied at the waist, bikini knotted
at fleshy hips.
A doctor plucked my motherís breasts
and left empty pockets.
Knives sliced open black-lipped Japanese
Akoyas to steal the pearls. 90 to 120 times per day,
Ama Divers filled lungs with 3 minutes of breath,
swam down 22 meters, suffered the bends,
vomited days after oysters were cracked,
shells fanned, meat pressed
flat with fingertips. My mother
wants to wear princess strands looped
atop her skin and breasts. The pearls:
halos of blistering nacre.
fiction poetry "fact" photography