When I was young my mother’s breasts were in every room. Large useless utters grazing ivory lampshades, reflecting a forgotten motherhood in the bathroom mirror. Her bras were lace and wire, camel, black and ancient white. Like a baby elephant, hunched over, her nostrils flaring, lips pursed like a wrinkled sheet, she’d cradle them close to her heart as she clasped them taut. At night they cushioned my youth—my ear smothered in heartbeat. Those youthful nights when nothing twitched but the moments before sleep. I still don’t know why/how many/which meds took her breasts along with her monster thighs and mothered gut. I was still in my twenties, alive with grace and freedom, Pacific driven during the melting period. It had been years since I last saw my mother’s breasts. Until her mother died. Back in Monmouth, IL, we shared a hotel room. Her public display had not changed but now there were ribs and sharp shoulders and skin so loose its presence merely a suggestion. My bereavement for Grandma K was lost in grief and deprivation for my mother’s flesh. Her breasts now reminded me of nothing, no memory, no mother of mine. In a stark room with ironed sheets and nothing to cradle, I grieved the loss of my mother as she did hers.