Mother's Milk, & the ghost in your air con by Rae White

Mother's Milk, & the ghost in your air con by Rae White

Mother's milk


Each of your milk teeth, toddler shoe-

boxed under your mother’s bed.

You giggle, call out

her sentimentality but I’m dizzy

at dinner, preoccupied

with thoughts of tinkling

dentin slipping on my palm.

I excuse myself, lurch

into the bedroom.

My arm zigzags in the dark

touching fusty carpet before finding

the muted box compact with dust.

Pinpoint fingers remove

one creamy molar.


You drive me home & with haste

I kiss you goodbye. I’m excited

close to ravenous

as I close my door & pick

the gem from my jeans

pocket & place it in my

mouth. I roll it leisurely

with tongue, let it clink

like ice cubes in empty

glass. I swallow

feel it scrape & chafe

lodge in my throat.


That night, its crystal

teratoma grows eggy bulge

forming restless

dreams of mountain peaks

lost in a vortex

of sinew & snow.


In the bright mirror morning, I scratch

at flaked skin & peel lengths

of stringy flesh to expose

crackle quartz jutting from my neck.

It glimmers & hums, my beautiful

crystalline baby

the only jewellery

I’ll ever wear.


Earlier version first published in Gargouille Literary Journal.


the ghost in your air con


frail blue & sickly

drizzle. we try enticing

it with salted almonds & stale

elastic bands. sit edgy & vibrating

in the back seat, giggling, talking shit.


it escapes while we're

kissing. caterpillar-lollops

out the wound-down window.

sighs & somersaults

onto the bitumen.


First published in Woolf Pack zine.


Find more work from Rae and get your hand on their poetry book Milk Teeth on their website, and check out their Instagram.


Executive Producers

Sarah Hunt

Daniel Henson

Sue White

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