Mary Talks about Breasts: Poem by Devon Miller-Duggan

Mary Talks about Breasts

All the painters gave me virgin’s tits—

pomegranates shoved under skin

as though that one son’s milk 
had no specific gravity—miracle milk pumped direct

from angels’ song—and suckling him took nothing from my body. 

As if we’d all trip over our own Ground of Being, by which I mean

breasts. As if it mattered what part of me was broken open

or unclothed by the great wind of spermless conception. 

Just look at paintings. I’m untouched in all

those announcements—barely a breeze from our angel’s descent 

or scary plural voice, 

and the spirit shooting light

towards my ear because the old men of the Councils

wrangled the conclusion that the baby had to get in some orifice

un-gross, unfilthy, and besides, 

the right one for The Word. But this is about breasts, 

and painters who believed a virgin’s round-fruit breasts

could hold enough milk to feed God

and never droop. 

As if begetting a god would leave a woman unwracked, 
But, look, I find my painted self

ginger, blonde, or barely brown for 1500 years,
on walls, one always out and shiny

as if I were an Amazon. 

2000 years and more my breasts, 

along with those of goddesses and nymphs 

and girls left out for gods to rape, and poor Agatha,
are all the boobs that don’t offend. 

Mothers suckle babes in toilet stalls 

and dressing rooms (where cameras watch), 

swim clubs with “topless” decks may not permit a nipple in a baby’s mouth.

You know, I know of women who give up their breasts to live

and do not choose to be cut again
and harvested (there’s fruit again)
or stretched to make new bumps. They are

often asked by men what will your husband have to play with now? 

Click for poem.

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About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well ( The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

1 thought on “Mary Talks about Breasts: Poem by Devon Miller-Duggan

  1. Miriam Sagan has indulged us with this introspective poem from Ms. Devon Miller-Duggan. Written as Mary (and self) it is sensitive to the female perspective on the mammary glands. The body part that gives nourishment to the infant and pleasure to a male. My unanswered question is “what of Mary’s experience in nursing the Babe? Did she experience the same pleasure that we non-virgin mother’s feel? Did she suffer the emotional and physical loss when the Babe was weaned? I ponder on this.

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