Mordekhai

אמר רבי יודן Rabbi Yudan taught:
פעם אחת חזר על כל המניקותOnce, Mordekhai searched but
ולא מצא לאסתר לאלתר מיניקהcould find no wet nurse for Esther,
והיה מיניקה הוא
so he nursed her himself.

My breasts judge a handshake,
have five-o-clock shadow.
I know the proper verb
for a deal with God is   To Cut.

The first time my hair stuck
in her soft baby gum,
I simply extended downward
my morning shave.

I fondled the swelling
above my heart
and named it glory
instead of shame.

Only once, after she’d dozed off
I lodged her head
in the crook of my elbow
and stretched my neck down

tugging the nipple up
to lick a drop from the tip.
I regret knowing that I taste
nothing like a woman.

 

Joshua Sassoon Orol is a trans Jewish poet from Raleigh, NC, writing with the texts, tunes, and stories passed down from their mixed heritage family. Joshua completed an MFA at NC State University, and received an Academy of American Poets prize while at UNC Chapel Hill. Their poetry can be read in recent or forthcoming issues of Driftwood Press, Mud Season Review, Nimrod International Journal, and Storm Cellar.