My baby’s hands snake over my breasts like a lover’s, stroking and caressing. We dance together in this, our ritual, begun minutes after he was born.
He can find his target by instinct, in the dark, half asleep. He has practice. He has motivation. His questing hand becomes more insistent, grasping my nipple. He tweaks at my skin, then grins, my other nipple in his lips. He speaks a string of toddler nonsense and relatches, concentrating on his task.
His are the only hands which skate over my breasts. To one side a streak of green yellow bruising, like a dab of mixed paint on a toddler cheek, reveals the biopsy site.
He touches my breasts when I cannot bear to. My body betraying me. My hands briefly brush them in the shower but I cannot even bear to look.
He still loves them. He feeds and he feeds and he feeds, as if he will never let go.
He bats away my hand when I try to break the seal of his lips on my nipple, deciding I’ve had enough. I acquiesce. We have only a short time to dance this way.
We dance, and we dance and we dance. The night is still young.