Step one: pick up your crying baby. kiss their forehead. tell them food is coming. they are safe, they will be full.
Step two: pull your nipple from loose fabric containment. compression kills the milk supply. dysphoria is guaranteed.
Step three: angle the baby like a cooing bird. lend them your harvest.
Step four: squeeze your silly putty nipple until it is round and ready.
Step five: the baby will find you on instinct, suck, let out that breath, close your eyes, mary mary mary, feed that baby until their arms and thighs are marshmallows.
Step six: eventually they will detach like an unstuck kink in a hose, toss their head back, smiling and satisfied, asleep if you’re lucky. You did well, baby. You’ll both survive another day.
Sage Agee is a queer, nonbinary writer living in rural Oregon. Ze spends zeir time raising a small human and making homes for snails. Ze has written for Parents, Autostraddle, Giddy, and has poems published in Goats Milk Magazine, Warning Lines, Honeyfire Lit, Sledgehammer Lit, Impossible Archetype, TheTideRises, Pareidolia, and more. Zir poetry was nominated for the 2021 Best of the Net Award.