Logo, MacQueen's Quinterly
Listed at Duotrope
MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 9: August 2021
Poem: 167 words
By Carrie Close

Ode to my breasts

do you remember? 
when I still let you touch 
my breasts—the way I moaned 
when you pinched my nipples—God, 
how I loved that feeling 
I couldn’t get enough, but now 
my breasts belong to Zephyr 
as the setting of the Sun, 
and shutting in of nighte, 
belong to Zephyr 
(those aren’t my lines 
I stole them1)  

do you remember? 
when I was pregnant 
how my breasts swelled 
like those heirlooms in our garden 
they become so engorged, they split 
open—my breasts 
full of colostrum 
that golden liquid, that nectar 
of the gods 
the most beautiful 
gift a mother can give 
to her child 

when Zephyr was born 
he nursed until my nipples cracked 
and bled—blood, the symbol 
of sacrifice, the mark 
of transformation 
from woman to mother 
my breasts—now striped 
with stretch marks and hanging flat 
against my chest—you tell me 
are like two raisins 
grapes, left to dry up in the sun 



1. Philotimus Melbancke 1583 [*]

*Publisher’s Note:

Philotimus: THE WARRE betwixt Nature and Fortune (London: 1583), compiled by Brian Melbancke. From Chapter “Mihi crede, credendum nemini” (page 179) in the text available at: Early English Books.

To learn more about this early Euphuistic novel and its mysterious 16th-century author Brian Melbancke, see Wikisource for an entry from the Dictionary of National Biography (1885–1900); and the dissertation by Arthur Leroy Colby, Brian Melbancke’s Philotimus (1583): A Critical Edition (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: 1969).

Links retrieved on 24 July 2021.

Carrie Close
Issue 9, August 2021

was born and raised in Maine, where she lives with her boyfriend, Josh, and their two sons, Emerand and Zephyr. Her first collection of poetry and short stories, What Have I Done? is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in March, 2022.

Author’s website: www.carrieclose.com/

Copyright © 2019-2024 by MacQueen’s Quinterly and by those whose works appear here.
Logo and website designed and built by Clare MacQueen; copyrighted © 2019-2024.
⚡   Please report broken links to: MacQuinterly [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡

At MacQ, we take your privacy seriously. We do not collect, sell, rent, or exchange your name and email address, or any other information about you, to third parties for marketing purposes. When you contact us, we will use your name and email address only in order to respond to your questions, comments, etc.