THE THEORY OF THE POST-PARTUM FETISH
by Marion Deutsche Cohen
A baby comes out smeared
with that wet sticky stuff
smelling even stranger
than seaweed or sex.
The mother, too, gets slimed
yes, something has radiated
and stopped on her skin.
They wash it off the baby
as much as they can
and keep telling the mother
to go take a shower.
But the film persists
The film insists
It sticks to the skin of others
which explains why, when she touches, she lingers
and why, when she touches the baby, she lingers more.
It takes up space, possesses weight
and clings to the dust and air
which explains why she moves so slowly.
* * * * *
"The Theory of the Post-Partum Fetish" is from The Fuss and the Fury (Alien Buddha Press, NM)
Marion Deutsche Cohen is the author of 27 collections of poetry or memoir; her latest poetry collections are “The Project of Being Alive” (New Plains Press, AL) and “New Heights in Non-Structure” (dancing girl press, IL)., as well as the forthcoming “The Discontinuity at the Waistline: My #MeToo Poems” (Rhythm and Bones Press, PA) and “The Fuss and the Fury” (Alien Buddha Press, NM). She is also the author of two controversial memoirs about spousal chronic illness, a trilogy diary of late-pregnancy loss, and “Crossing the Equal Sign”, about the experience of mathematics. She teaches a course she developed, Mathematics in Literature, at Arcadia and at Drexel Universities. Other interests are classical piano, singing, Scrabble, thrift-shopping, four grown children, and five grands. Her website is marioncohen.net.