what are we before we are mothers

by Suzanne Antelme

woman wants to loop
herself like a spool of thread
into the cupped arms of a mug

woman wants to use up
all her thoughts considering
the brown heart of coffee

woman wants a man with a beard
and a dog to lift a mug to his winded lips
and swallow her chapped laughter

woman wants to sew
a man together with twine
from the bowl of her stomach

woman wants a man to hollow
her out and line her chest
with eggshell shoes and yellow milk

woman wants to not want this.