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I blamed you
for the way my right breast dried up
after my third son was born.
As if you resented
where he sat in my lap, a mirror
to where you should’ve sat.
My son fed and fed and fed
still, on that one breast
his eyes sliding over
as if he could see
something I couldn’t.
Me, a lopsided drawing.
One side filled with milk, the other
drained.

Even though you were gone
I still knew the shape of you
if only because you were a blackened spot
dragging along the peripheral of my eye
as I went about my day
caring for my three sons.
Sometimes I still hear someone calling
and find myself running
into an empty room.

I dreamed of you
before you were conceived and
as you filled my swollen belly.
I dream of you still
a blackened spot
sliding out with the blood.
I wake up clutching my son
as he sleeps next me, I wake up clutching
my body, all the drained places



Laura Cranehill lives in the Pacific Northwest with her spouse and three sons. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Vastarien, [PANK], The Future Fire, and elsewhere.
Current Issue
26 Feb 2024

I can’t say any of this to the man next to me because he is wearing a tie
Language blasts through the malicious intentions and blows them to ash. Language rises triumphant over fangs and claws. Language, in other words, is presented as something more than a medium for communication. Language, regardless of how it is purposed, must be recognized as a weapon.
verb 4 [C] to constantly be at war, spill your blood and drink. to faint and revive yourself. to brag of your scars.
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