Miranda Field


She shows me on her own long torso: 

how the metal plugs latch on,

a little roughly, but not so sudden

as to frighten the cow and stop the milk.

The apparatus needn’t be beloved, it’s unequivocal,

the sucking’s rhythmic, mechanical. 

This is how it’s really done

on distant farms, in agricultural zones.

A novel taught me

how to make an udder flow: 

form  an okay sign with finger and thumb,

collapse the o’s soft rim, trapping

the teat and pulling, as on a bell-pull

or school-girl’s pigtail.  But you must be

on your knees, you must be no

machine, you must be close to straw

and creaturely.




“Cybele” first appeared in TriQuarterly (issue 119).