The Androgynous Christ

Put the feeding ritual in a list:
One hand here.
The wrist below.
Turn his head.
Latch his lips.

Trapped inside the breast:
the wholly lost,
the curdled hurts,
a lesson no one taught.
Milk won’t stream
into his mouth.

In the photo of the window,
a Roman Christ with beard and breasts
lifts a hand inside stained glass.
Before I was a girl mother,
before I was swollen
and could not feed.

Stuck in glass,
(S)He repeats her teaching.
Can you hear the hand,
the little sucking.
Can you hear the breast,
her sad blue rivulets.
What you can’t hear
you must list.

Jessica Cuello is the author of Pricking (Tiger Bark Press, 2016), Hunt (The Word Works, 2017), and several chapbooks. She has been awarded The 2017 CNY Book Award (for Pricking), The 2016 Washington Prize (for Hunt), The New Letters Poetry Prize, and a Saltonstall Fellowship. Her newest poems can be found or are forthcoming in Passages North, Crab Orchard Review, Transom, Foundry, The Missouri Review, The American Poetry Journal, and Red Paint Hill.