Carol Muske-Dukes




The beginning, the mother's breast,

tipped into the mouth of the infant,

the white thirst that becomes, later,


Intoxication, desire for the perfection

of her body as the field, double-field --

inviting, again, the mouth. A red thirst


a hurt, that the scar, taking away the

dream of perfection, makes inviolate.

Her eyes above the whiteness where


there were nipples, redness where

the head cradled -- her eyes seeking

what was lost, what lesson was hers within


the dream, within the white cells of the hive. 


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A National Book Award finalist