Does a Body Good by Greg Beatty

“C’mon, honey. Take just one more sip. You know what they say. Milk does a body good!”

“Mom! I’m too old for you to feed me from a sippy cup!”

Mom lifted the cup to my lips and slowly tilted it so that the milk trickled out onto my lips. I’m sure the milk was cool and fresh. I watched Mom cluck gently when she poured the milk too fast and a steady stream of it ran down my lips to further whiten my neck, then darken my shirt.

“My fault, baby boy, momma’s fault. Let me get you cleaned up and I’ll try again.” She daubed my skin dry, wincing a little when some of my decaying flesh stuck to the towel.

“Mom,” I said more gently. “It’s no use. For milk to do my body any good, my spirit still has to be inside it.”

It was no use. My words couldn’t reach her any more than the nutrients in that no doubt tasty milk could reach me.

I watched my mother try again, and once again I tried to reach out to contact her. Both of us failed, and both of us continued to haunt one another, as I’m sure we’ll do until we’re both dead. Or maybe even after that.

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Published 5/12/19