Ten Months Postpartum

In a dream my nipples have been cut
open along the seams of my areola. A perfect dark circle,


the cavern of my breast. There, against the rims
clings a white paste, dried-up milk.


Elation. I have it in me after all.
I grab my baby and cup the back of her head,


pull her in the direction of the dark holes,
the matured milk. Perhaps now she’ll drink from me.


But her whimper turns into a hiss.
And I can’t stand it, that sound of dismissal.


I wake up wet all over. Slip my hand under my shirt,
pull at my elastic nipple, to make sure


it’s still attached. There is a knock
lodged in my throat. A bark. A bellow. If it was


the sound of her moaning, I’d know how to console.
Push her away from my chest, give her a bottle instead.


Shush, little mother. There are tiny bones glowing
through your gums, and now is the time to rub them.

Geula Geurts

Geula Geurts is a Dutch-born poet and essayist living in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Shaindy Rudolph Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar Ilan University. Her mini-chapbook Like Any Good Daughter was published by Platypus Press. She was a finalist in the 2018 Autumn House Chapbook Contest. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Pleiades, Tinderbox Editions, New South, On the Seawall, Blue River Review and Counterclock. She works as a literary agent at the Deborah Harris Agency.

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