My Mother Doesn’t Let Me Say the Word Nipple

By Sarah Bean

A sunspot lens flare, or
a grapefruit in hand at the corner store,
the teat a lifeblood spout
suckled on the tongue, or
a garden pebble
between the gums 
of a gleam in my eye.
I say whether sustenance or
sensory madness,
open wide and let me raise
Gods from my bosom. 
Thank me with a grin and
buy me a daisy dug
from the dirt. Pluck
each petal from its raised 
center and whisper
feed me, 
or feed me not
and place the frond at the back
of my throat. 
I say whether they
half domes of domesticity or 
domination, give me
gifts from every person 
who has ever licked budding
blossoms and thought of
nothing more. 
Let me scream a sound 
for nipple like a child 
with no other word
for love. 
Let me birth sin from my ribcage
and call it noblewoman,
call it royalty,
call it mine.


Sarah Bean (she/her) is a library technician and poet from Alberta, Canada. Her work has appeared in Goats Milk Magazine, The Giving Room Magazine, and in zines photocopied at her local library. She thanks you for being gentle. 

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