It is four in the morning and the breast pump in the next room sounds like a crow cawing over a carcass, its shallow plunging depleting and relieving my wife at the same time – both of us immersed in very different forms of self-expression.
All those tubes protruding from my wife’s chest remind me of how complicated the most basic of things feel these days. Even simple expressions are brimming with complexity – like the other day when my three-year old looked at our wedding picture and asked my wife, is this when you were a mama or back when you were a woman?
Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings, wrote Auden, and when my wife hands me two bottles to put in the fridge – each brimming with thick, yellowish liquid gold – I can’t help but notice a tinge of jealousy in my gratitude, wonder what child was ever nourished by a father’s mixed emotions.
Ben Berman’s first collection of poems, Strange Borderlands, won the 2014 Peace Corps Writers Award for Best Book of Poetry and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. His second collection, Figuring in the Figure, is forthcoming from Able Muse Press. In addition, he has received honors and Fellowships from the New England Poetry Club, Massachusetts Cultural Council and Somerville Arts Council.