Nipple Confusion

by Bill Bowler


Struggling in my father’s hands,
Striving against my swaddling bands,
Bound and weary, I thought best
To sulk upon my mother’s breast.

— William Blake


Born in April, when the Earth is born,
when in the park, the robins stalk
and blue jays squawk and iridescent
speckled starlings poke the grass
as red-eyed urbane pigeons strolling
nod and bob beneath the happy
neighborly babble of chirping sparrows
flitting from crooked branch to branch,
when first the dots of green haze, draped
like nets, enmesh the gray-brown boughs
and forsythia butters the slabs of stone,

comes in April, the little man,
the powerless one who alone has power,
the vulnerable, helpless, demanding one,

comes the little one, like the sound
of a little fart from the basinette,
Professor Fussbudget, Lord Squirmington,
Mr. Hiccups, Monsieur Poopiehead,
Buster the Gas Man, the Pacifier Man,
the Milkman, comes, and suddenly

his schedule now, not ours, swallowed
now by pandemonium; his time now
not ours, no more old familiar routine,
fled now like an interrupted dream.
All potential, all innocence, his little
round face, little eyebrows, wisps of
strawberry blond, sweet puckered
petals of mouth, little questioning eyes,
wondering, reproachful, moving towards light,
inch-worm fingers, little cotton ball
fists, tiny toes, and a fire siren voice...

gurgle, gurgle, burp, ahhh... (pause) rustle
rustle, chirp, wail, waaaAAAAHHH!! WAAAAHHHH!!!

and mommy and daddy, just moments into sleep,
not dreaming, drifting heavy and deep,
wrenched at 3 AM to dry eyeball
yawning weary half-wakefulness,
mommy opens her nightgown and
the little beast, panting, frenzied, shakes his prey,
little Count Dracula with gums,
the Succubus sucks beserk, subsides,
grows limp like a rag doll flat
on his back at the nipple drifting
away towards the absolute pleasure
of pooping in your pj’s asleep, sleep, sleep,
just out of the womb and already
the hours and days of his
little life tick by...


Copyright © 2007 by Bill Bowler

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