The mash-o-matic flattens one breast at a time into a plain of veins, ducts and fatty tissue, as wild as any grasses, the diversity of cells, any one of which could falter by some onslaught of hormone or car exhaust strafing, or stress, which is a vast country of assassins and strife, the cells lowering down their robber masks, to rob this chunk of flesh blind. When will they invent a kinder machine? Pinching, pulling, plopped on the tray, the tech cinches the breast down tight then one final turn and tug as if the breast could ever escape or shift to its own best view – full on nipple beaming. Why not a cup to lean into tender squeezing, like a lover, the right amount of pressure for the breast to offer itself up, not flayed, not road kill steamrolled, but in its hilled dimensional glory a panoramic, 3D exploration. Then I wait, without breathing, while the button is pressed. Years this process repeats, these pinpointing rays of radiation to ferret out whether the lineage of my mother's genes are unfolding in a similar way: cancerous, murderous. The hesitation before the machine releases each breast to resume the shape they have known not as something to be smashed like clay between two plates of chilled plastic, but stately, if not a bit sliding-down-hillside, certainly in need of a admiring touch.