I’ve said I remember nothing of the first three months. But when I start peeling back the bleary out-of-body shroud, the stitches, the sitz baths, there’s the milk-stained blue couch where I woke in the bluelight, turning off my alarm, turning on the yellow pumpand the TV, every three hours another automatic emptying. An ounce or two, less than half of what you needed, the box of formula unopened in the pantry. The refusal to open, scoop, measure. Watching the famous California chef pipe Meyer lemon crème fraiche into an empty egg shell with the razor-cut cap, nothing had ever been so luxuriously precise. And I remember taking scissors to my head the next morning, wet hair punctuating the floor. Reading it like tea leaves,no room for pretty here. Milk extracted from my titslike lemon juice in the eye, like a man fighting the urge to cry. Thin cord of milk pulled reluctantly from the new abyss where your body used to be, haphazard grotesque, a rough white rope up through my breast is best No, I’ll never forget the sucking that yellow machine didwhen you couldn’t. How I would grind my teeth like I was coming down off ecstasy when the only thing left is the chills, the useless hollows of a bodyshitting and shivering, the threat of the flesh coming back, feverish and frigid fragile as 4 AM as baby an egg shell opened up and readyto be filledJulia C. Alter is living, writing, and raising a toddler in Burlington, Vermont. Her poems can be found in, or are forthcoming from Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Storyscape, CALYX, Rogue Agent, and elsewhere.