“The Extraordinary True Story of the Unmother Who Substantiated Darwinism” – Poetry by Jeanann Verlee

Fountain of Milk... - Salvador Dali, 1945
Fountain of Milk… – Salvador Dali, 1945

“The Extraordinary True Story of the Unmother Who Substantiated Darwinism” is one of 3 phenomenally flappy poems by Jeanann Verlee in our Fall 2016 issue. To read two more of Jeanann’s poems, plus unforgettable work by 15 other excellent writers, you can buy a copy of FLAPPERHOUSE #11 in print or PDF today!

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IT STARTS HERE, YOU, your swelled & untapped breasts, those plump orbs of goldhoneymilk spewing, spsssssssing, everywhere, like a good summer sprinkler, spsssing & spsssing, drenching your clothes, unending, & soon you tire of changing & resign to the same cream colored dress, reeking the dank sourbitter, & milkclots dot the toes of your galoshes, which fill & overspill, & in your wake, a stream curls its way past your feet, past the curb & the corner grocery, past the bank & the pub & the overpass & beyond, & soon everyone is waist-deep, & behind you the neighborhood cats lurk & sip, & further beyond, lambs & tiger cubs, puppies & their bitches, all lapping up the bounty, & humans too, infants, yes, & men, hundreds, thousands even, on hands & knees, face-down in the riverbed of your milkstream, lapping like work dogs, lapping & drooling, & the river rises, surges, you are the witch of The New Mississippi, carving fresh earth with your brilliant milkfountain, & the chickadees dance in it, & ducks dip down & under & back, & now, too, the fish have gone mammalian & they swim & feast & harvest their fingerlings from the dirt stir of your royal milkbed river banks, & too now the dolphins & sharks, sea-stressed, milkfed, lunge & thrive in the new ocean of your teatmaking, & so, too, cherry blossom roots adapt to suckle nutrients from your ground seep, as do the dogwoods & sunflowers & lilacs & honeysuckles, the fir & pine & weeping willow, & of course hogs & chickens, water buffalo & giraffes, amoeba & ferns, & eventually even the clouds learn to parcel your offering to the sky & rain it down again where whole ecosystems transform to your nurture, & children of all species dance with tongues wagging to catch the milkfall & you, barren as a stone, spill & spill & spill & spill & this goes on & even when you try to die, scientists team with engineers who team with doctors who team with politicians & orders are drawn to keep alive your pulse & spigots because now you are crucial, obligatory, the food of all things, the world’s sustenance, the girl who bloomed.

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photo by Jonathan Saunders
photo by Jonathan Saunders

JEANANN VERLEE is author of Said the Manic to the Muse and award-winning Racing Hummingbirds. She has been awarded the Third Coast Poetry Prize and the Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry, and her work appears in failbetter, Adroit, Rattleand BuzzFeedamong others. Verlee wears polka dots and kisses Rottweilers. She believes in you. Find her at jeanannverlee.com.

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