A plastic shield sucks my breast. I am a milk machine.
Between phone calls, frozen food, forms, and emails, I feel the twinge of pain. The plastic won’t conform. Not like your lips — soothing, warm. Not with your bite, cunning, sharp. I cringe at once-firm breasts now fallen, drooping, into a cup. I resent the pump, the plastic that deforms. It is getting late. My work waits.
Then I think of you.
Your breathy pants of want. Your coy, side-smile while suckling when my thumb makes you giggle. Your dribble, gurgle-milk sliding from your mouth onto my pillow-belly. The way you pinch me, test for juice.
Your eyes. Endless, staring. Your thank-you eyes. No bottom, no surface.
I think of you and pump as work piles on my desk, as guilt piles in my heart for chores undone. For the house unclean, dishes and clothes unwashed, beds unmade. For the husband, who feels unloved. For the mothering I cannot do, for you, who are not here. For the poems, out of tune, because I’d rather hum to you.
For the self so split that my liquids trickle out…
One breast emptied. But there is not enough. One bottle not-quite filled, one more to pump.