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Party in the O.R.

Today is my double mastectomy. Today is also my birthday. As he numbs me, the anesthesiologist wears a pink pointed hat, the string, thin as a Tuohy needle, stretched tight under his chin. Nurses patter around the room, prepping the procedure and blowing sound makers shaped like scalpels. I was so sure cancer cells would look like clumps of raw hamburger: clotted and bloody and dead. But when steady hands reach into the flaps of my left breast, then my right, they retrieve something much more alive: confetti. The surgeon lobs the fine, colored paper into the air and cheers.

Lannie Stabile (she/her), a queer Detroiter, is the winner of OutWrite’s 2020 Chapbook Competition in Poetry and a back-to-back semifinalist for the Button Poetry Chapbook Contest. Lannie was also named a 2020 Best of the Net finalist. Her debut poetry full-length, Good Morning to Everyone Except Men Who Name Their Dogs Zeus, was published in 2021 by Cephalopress. Her fiction debut, Something Dead in Everything, is now out with ELJ Editions. Find her on Twitter @LannieStabile or @NotALitMag, where she throws random writing contests and open mics.

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