A baby sat alone in the nursery
beside a shrinking patch of sunlight.
Turning, she saw the bright floor
and bent down to lick the shining wood,
taking the light on her tongue,
the way a perfect salmon
is placed in a shallow hole along the
and covered with leaves, then canvas.
It lies in the long summer days,
rotting, baking, its tissues softening,
one eye turned up, waiting for the light,
the other looking deep into permafrost.
weeks the fisherman digs up
the decayed salmon, saving the best
Tepuuq, the head, is shared at
a delicacy to eat remembering dryfish
The eyes of the reeking fish,
given to the youngest children, stare
at the late high sun before they are
baby looked out the window a moment after
the last edge of sun set under the
She crawled from the nursery, looking for
Angela Lehman-Rios is a writer
living in Richmond, Virginia.
Origin of Milk
When Emily nurses, her eyes
drift shut and her hand strays
to my other breast, urgent, pulling or
twisting my nipple
as if adjusting a television set; I
shes trying for the best flow of
Downstairs, our tv reaches into the
to bring us unintelligible broadcasts.
This morning I clicked the silver knob
through the secret codes of the
and Big Bird appeared in sickly
from a far-off Sesame Street, not the
I crouched in front of the tv, my hand
paused on the switch,
waiting for the static to clear, but it
draws milk from my body, dreaming of
things Ive forgotten.
The clustered sacs deep in my breasts
produce her supply
as I fold shirts and read headlines,
even as I nurse her, brushing hair from
wondering where the milk comes from.