Eating Babies

By Chana Bloch Chana Bloch
is the soul of this flesh.
Eat with your hands, slow, you will understand
breasts, why everyone
adores them—Rubens’ great custard nudes—why
we can’t help sleeping with
The old woman in the park pointed,
Is it yours?
Her gold eye-teeth gleamed.
I bend down, taste the fluted
nipples, the elbows, the pads
of the feet. Nibble earlobes, dip
my tongue in the salt fold
of shoulder and throat.
Even now he is changing,
as if I were
licking him thin.
HE SQUEEZES his eyes tight
to hide
and blink! he’s still here.
It’s always a surprise.
steal it in mouthfuls,
store it away
where you save
the face that you touched
for the last time
over and over,
your eyes closed
so it wouldn’t go away.
WATCH HIM sleeping. Touch
the pulse where
the bones haven’t locked
in his damp hair:
the navel of dreams.
His eyes open for a moment, underwater.
His arms drift in the dark
as your breath
washes over him.
Bite one cheek. Again.
It’s your own
life you lean over, greedy,
going back for more.

Chana Bloch, "Eating Babies" from The Past Keeps Changing. Copyright © 1992 by Chana Bloch.  Reprinted by permission of The Sheep Meadow Press.

Source: The Past Keeps Changing (The Sheep Meadow Press, 1992)

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Poet Chana Bloch

Subjects Living, Parenthood, The Body

 Chana  Bloch


Chana Bloch is the author of four books of poems: The Secrets of the Tribe, The Past Keeps Changing, Mrs. Dumpty, and Blood Honey. She is co-translator of the biblical Song of Songs as well as contemporary Israeli poetry—most recently The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai and his Open Closed Open, and Hovering at a Low Altitude: The Collected Poetry of Dahlia Ravikovitch. Among her awards are the Poetry Society of America's Di . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, The Body

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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