Milk and Honey

i taste blood on my lips when i kiss you my hands, sticky crimson

grasp at your lapels

pleading for attention,

for compassion —

it is between my thighs

behind my eyes

on my wrists

my neck

all the places your mouth should rest murmuring gentle words

kind words

are dripping now with red

it is not my blood that coats, but theirs those who were stolen

those who were shot

those who resisted

those who could not

those who protected

and those who could do more than close their eyes and pray

for what greater crime is there

than to be a woman




in the land that flows with chalav and d’vash?

but milk is meant to heal

and honey just as sweet

so when you stand before me

arms open wide, warm, safe

forgive me for pulling back.

forgive me for saying no.

because the faces of those girls




have become the canvas of my closed eyelids and i know

that i will taste their blood on my lips when i kiss you –

Miri Selengut