Our Lady of Raw Milk

White strands feather across the surface,
pale blue spirals highlight angel wings.

Long ago, women of means would bathe
in raw milk for the most lovely skin.

Luminous, they said, white, and tender.
People forget the milk was a raw

muddle, whether fresh or sour, a dense
broth of angels dancing on the head

of each pin, and walking on water
across the ice-pond surface tension

of every glass. Frothy night-blooming
flowers with roots clinging to the earth.

The very cream of kind compassion
lauded as much for luxury as

endurance, or brevity. There is
the milk, and there is also rawness.

A sweetness that can twist in the gut,
wrenchingly. A fierce water to wash

away the brittleness of the heart.
Butter comforts cracks, heals the heartsore.

This angel has no breasts, the sweetness
of her smile aches, she clings to the earth,

and to the sky, and lets loose of why.
It is the rawness that fills the space.

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