And Still They Weep

My breasts are stones.

I lie in the bath and they
do not move,
do not give way gently, flattening out,
nipples soft puddles

They are all stiff, tender bruise.

They press heavy into my armpits
into my soft belly
as if trying to take the place of what was there

I ache.
I cannot even lift a shirt from the laundry.
I clench fistfuls of socks,
crumple forward

Tiny drops bead on my nipples
fall like tears
My life—
all I was meant to give—
slides down my belly
drips onto the floor.

I thought they would give me medication to dry up my milk
to spare me this

But there is no magic prescription.
Just motrin
and ice
and binding
and cabbage leaves.

I pull them from the head, freeze them.
They cup my breasts,
press the pattern of ribs and veins into my flesh,
slowly cook from my heat

I reek of cabbage
and for days
I cannot wash the smell out of my bras.

Between cabbage applications
we tie bags of frozen peas to my breasts

I wrap my arms around them
embrace them
invite the coldness deeper

Each day the swelling lessens,
and the icing, and binding, and cabbage leaves.
Stone melts back to flesh.
But still my nipples burn in turns,
a searing, scraping,
a sharp intake of breath,
clenched hands.

And still they weep.

© Burning Eye



One thought on “And Still They Weep

  1. Hanna Sideshow Freak says:

    Beautiful and brutal. Love it.

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