I pump milk on the side of the road where the grass is biblical green
as if first cousin to the cow, her pink and swollen tits immaculate

as the plumbing of a church organ sending up calls to god, brassy mesh                                
of notes, fermented and dank as kush. I pump milk with my bare hands

into a bar’s bathroom sink, above which is a mirror where someone’s scrawled
I Love Cricket Pussy and below that, Everyone Deserves to be Loved.

I look at myself under the fingered smudge, the bodily fluids spattered
like haikus and I pump as if my milk is propaganda,

fingers bowing across my chest like a pawnshop violin,
milky graffiti tagging the spit-clogged drain.

I pump like I’m writing my name in blood
which turns to the milk my child sucks dry, which she turns into blood.

I pump like I have a tattoo on my pudenda
that says Aerosmith backwards, I pump

as if my hands have teeth, one combat boot hitched up on the toilet seat,
each hiss of milk chanting like a choir yes bitch yes,

my tits bitten and salt-veined, as when my baby
took her first gulp of air, humming   

from the engorged crevasse of me
like a herd of wildebeest, as if the hive of me could have burst,

the infrared honey, the glop glop
of afterbirth dripping down my left leg,

spittle and amen, amniotic residue   
fluorescent with prayer—

Do men lactate is a popular google search and I wonder
what would happen if they could, our presidents

lifting their offspring to their breasts in the deep pockets
of night, listening to the dribble of milk

sipped from the pulpit of their bodies. Tonight my breasts
became so engorged I said I’d pay someone to suck my tits

half-joking. But a woman who heard followed me to the bathroom, read me
a sex poem while I pumped my milk, leaning away from the need in her voice

and the milk came slow and I pumped and waited for her to finish
and a streetlight scribbled in the parking lot

and I know there is a price we pay for loneliness
and a price we pay to forget it and I dedicate my libido

to my younger self and this is how I want to live, milk-stained, a little bit emptied,
a little bit in love with the abundance of my body,

my milk pale yellow with a layer of cream
which I will save long after it’s turned, praising its curdled glow

every time I open the fridge, as if its presence is enough to keep me safe,
as if it’s enough to make me invincible.

From I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers From the World (BOA Editions, 2021) by Kendra DeColo. Copyright © 2021 by Kendra DeColo. Used with the permission of the publisher.