Daughter, I won’t make milk for you anymore.
The body retreats. It reclaims
miracles. My smaller-now breasts, whitish,
shining as with sickness, the way the body
releases its heat, a light summer dress, floating
in the river while the pregnancy
strips, the twenty in Ziploc freezer bags,
their lines fading equal signs or crosses,
proof: like La Virgen in her robes, stains
that didn’t freeze or scrape, barnacle-
calcifying silence. Some things the body
reabsorbs (split wood, fingernails, trauma,
milk). Some things it lets go—bundles of cells
that won’t grow. But not you, little girl—you clung
& I clung back. I used to trick myself
years before you, believing my breasts were sore
& not for pinching. If I squeezed long enough,
a sticky clear stream would ooze from one side.
Look what the body can do—
it can lie. I can lie, too: I’m choosing this.
The truth can wrap itself in cabbage leaves, or wait
for the body to reabsorb. The baby knows
the difference between milk & mothered cracks
leaking eggshell white, grungy white, sad white.