The Baby

The Baby


After it happened, I never strayed too far.
I stayed close to the wound, I

swaddled it like a newborn.
I asked if it was hungry and, like a newborn,

it gazed through me, it couldn’t focus or smile.
That was the end of all questions.

From then on, I fed it until
it became drunk with my milk.

My breasts were engorged at the time
with something like fear, tender to the touch.

The wound had been born
with sharp teeth. It bit and it gnawed.

I was not trying to fatten it up or make it close
like a wing, like a whisper

to someone falling asleep or about to die.
I did not wonder whether it looked

like me or its father, or what
would become of it as the years went by.

I never waited for it to self-soothe.
I had this itch every time it cried out

as if the sun, sizzling, plucked at the edges
of my skin and all I could do to keep

the body’s tapestry whole was shove
a breast into that gaping mouth

and silence it.