My sister jokes with me on Skype—pretending that we can feed each other what we're eating through the cameras.
I remember her feeding me when I was a little girl. She makes the same faces when playing with my son and my daughter—lips twisting sour, eyes wide.
It is as if each memory is made of tiny mirrors and if I pick one up to examine it, I must carefully wipe my fingerprints off of it afterwards.
One time, when I was six, she fed me slim skewers of a frankfurter hotdog off the tip of her fork. She was a train, I was a tunnel.
Each piece of meat dipped in ketchup, salty and warm,
with skin just taut enough for my teeth to tear into ...
I ate six hotdogs that day because she fed me.
By Natasha Marin
from MILK (Seattle, Minor Arcana Press, © 2014)
The book's blurb says:
Natasha Marin’s debut e-book MILK is about sustaining children, relationships, and a thriving creative life through the act of breastfeeding. In this multimedia collection, Marin explores nurturing as an act of both power and privilege wherein milk-filled breast is not just a metaphor, but a galaxy of possibility.
"It is hard to define such nurturance, but you know when you have received it because you are no longer hungry, even if you still want better for the world and yourself. And that is where Marin’s poems leave the reader: sustained and open to more."
I thought it would be good to give you something nurturing right now, when many are feeling threatened one way or another.
Many of the poems in MILK are about breast-feeding, as both title and blurb suggest. And there are others, like this, which are less obviously about that primal experience but still recall it.
I can't even remember now where I found this ebook. Maybe it was advertised on Goodreads; maybe someone recommended it. I'm glad I did find and buy it; it's extraordinary, wonderful poetry like nothing I've ever come across before. It makes powerful statements, in language both beautiful and startling.
Also it exploits its status as an ebook, to play in interesting ways with technology. Marin – also an interdisciplinary artist whose own photos make this collection even more rewarding – explains here how she has arranged the book to be interactive, and discusses whether we have gained or lost more by living in this digital age.
On her Portfolio website, which lists an impressive array of achievements, she states:
Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.