“She taught a lesson no one wants to learn.”
My hunger is no method actor; love,
In the beginning, laid my hunger down
On mossy music. Days unworthy of
Her gaze are days no more. It all had grown
Around her: every step a grape, to drown
In wine that went with every kind of food;
Compared to non-existence, it was good.
Milk, honey, coffee, spices; all was in
Her custody. I saw, in living bronze,
The Dying Gaul stand up. If fall was in
The air, it failed. “She breathes, the moon responds,”
I noted; moonlight tasted of pecans
Back then. My health was none of love’s concern.
She taught a lesson no one wants to learn.
The snow is too loud for my eyes, too hot
For hearts today. Her final breath was strange,
Was sweetly strange: (I wish that tongues forgot);
You’d swear that Doctor Lister kissed her. Change
Gets paid in salt, and that’s too bad: this range
Of possibilities is doggerel;
My memory spits it out, and says, “I’m full.”
These candles make the coldness only seem
Forgotten. Wisdom stands by Terminus
To worship God, while hunger forms a team
With The Night Watch. Imagine nothing is,
Then look again, and nothing doesn’t blaze!
A fork! A fork! My birthright just to spoon!
Let Typhoid Mary undercook the moon.
Tomorrow love will feed the ocean; rain
And tears and nations always fall. The time
Will serve me empathy before a grain
Of self-awareness grows. Love’s paradigm
Will split in half to be my lemon-lime
Refreshment. She will slice what’s never old,
Turn every nugget in distress to gold.
Love’s light will still be very vertical.
Starvation is her lifeblood; I will fast
Until what’s never too available –
Her last forbidden fact – is my repast.
She’ll decorate the sky and flabbergast
The moon with darkling globes. Trifoliate
And pure, her rhythms will be trees of light.
Jake Sheff is a pediatrician and veteran of the US Air Force. He's married with a daughter and six pets. Poems and short stories of Jake’s have been published widely. Some have even been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and the Pushcart Prize. His chapbook, Looting Versailles, is available from Alabaster Leaves Publishing.