During radiation nothing gives— all the steel and glass and plaster. The machine closer and closer until it’s an inch from the absent breast— Why can’t I say what happened? I’m trying to—but I’ve been instructed not to move, not even a millimeter, or the radiation will reach my heart. All I want is to hear my neighbor call his cows home at dusk, to see him touch their bellies, feel the fur that swirls between their eyes.

CHARLOTTE MATTHEWS is a recent Fellow at The Virginia Center for The Creative Arts and recipient of The Fellowship of Southern Writers Award for Poetry, and she is author of two full length collections: Still Enough to Be Dreaming and Green Stars. Most recently her work has received recognition from NPR, where she was the featured poet. Matthews is a professor at Hollins University. Some Saturdays she brings her 1914 Smith Corona typewriter to The Farmer’s Markets and writes poems on the spot.