overview published poems unpublished poems

Ode to My Nipple

I thought you too small
perched on the tip of my grapefruit breast
like a button
with barely any areola to surround you
I thought you immature,
unlike the lush, overgrown nipples
nestled in their pools of red or purple,
of other women
I hid you away, thinking you were caught
between girlhood and womanhood;
until, one day,
after giving birth,
my breasts rounded with incoming milk,
you, my button nipple, still barely making a statement,
I sought help from a nurse in the hospital ward
to place my baby’s mouth just right.
Oh, she said, you have the perfect breasts for nursing,
good nipples!

Well! What do you know?
Not for me, the sore and battered
nipple too lush for its own good,
you, my friend,
were a clear target
perfect in size
for a tiny mouth.
You would introduce me painlessly
to the delicious slow burn of let-down,
met by the grateful hunger of
a baby whose body still needed mine.
And as I would hold him,
his languid eyes gazing up at me,
his mouth closing and opening rhythmically
upon you, my little button nipple,
I knew, I would never
speak ill of you

Published in ONTHEBUS Double Issue 2005