Ní Ghriofa, Doireann, “A Ghost in the Throat” (Biblioasis, 2020).

Months passed the way months will, in a spin of grocery lists, vomiting bugs, Easter eggs, hoovering, and electricity bills. I grew and grew, until one morphine-bright day in July my third son made his slow way from my belly to my chest, and I found myself in the whip exhaustion of night-feeds again. Throughout those yellow-nappy weeks, when everything spun wildly in the erratic orbit of others’ needs, only the lines of the Caoineadh remained steadfast.

In falling into the whirligig of those days, I had stolen from myself something so precious and so nebulous that I wasn’t myself without it. Desire. After the birth, every flicker of want was erased from me with such a near completeness that I felt utterly vacant. To fulfil all its needs for intimacy, my body served and was served by the small body of another. I still experienced power physical urges, but they were never sexual. I was ruled by milk now, an ocean that surged and ripped to the laws of its own tides. (21)

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