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Saturday, June 23, 2007


by Rochelle Ratner

The first thing she thinks of is that horrid smell. She can't
even walk through her lobby when they've just been
cleaning. Then she thinks of women who kill their hair by
bleaching it. Now they're trying to tell her ordinary
bathroom bleach can boost the body's immune system.
Probably just more medical whitewash. And it's only bleach
combined with other vaccines. And it only works with
ovarian cancer. She knelt and kissed the hospital floor the
day they took out her ovaries, so thankful that the sterile
odor was momentarily tolerable. But she also has a lot of
friends, and she hugs her friends.

Rochelle Ratner's latest poetry books include Leads (Otoliths Press, 2007), Balancing Acts (Marsh Hawk Press, 2006), Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, 2006) and House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003). She is the author of fifteen previous poetry collections and two novels (Bobby’s Girl and The Lion’s Share) both published by Coffee House Press). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage.