I am thrilled that my poem, “Because You Have Been a Feast for Me” has been included in the 2015 LitBulb Festival, an international, online gathering of literary work. Rather than gather all the included works onto one website, each author will be hosting her or his own work, with a link you can follow to read the other writers whose work has been included. It’s a chance to take in some of what’s being written all over the English-speaking world. Meanwhile, here’s my poem.
Because You Have Been A Feast For Me
Those yellow roses on the piano,
gift from last night’s guest,
wilted while we slept, prisoners
waiting for their morning execution.
Across the table, your face shines
diamond hard, but when you stand
to get our tea from the kitchen,
your body is a barely clenched fist
raised trembling against the blood they took,
and the urine, and what you’re waiting
to hear them tell you today
they already knew they would find.
We manage to avoid words,
spread silence between us like a net
over which we keep our fear in play,
hitting it back and forth
with a smile or a nodded head
or the raised eyebrows we each hope
will pull the voice from the other’s mouth.
I am hungry to feed you, to offer
at the boundary my skin is
between the mechanisms of who I am
and the air shaped by these four walls
whatever I can to nourish the bloom
withered in you by those fluorescent lights
they refused to let us sit together beneath.
Forget the nurse who missed four times
searching for a vein, the cold
the doctor who would not look you in the eye
probed you with, the accent you could not understand
when the office manager told you
to call for the results in a week.
Remember instead how yesterday,
on the roof of the green building across the street,
the solitary antenna we’ve pitied for its loneliness
held back from the height it strived for,
by the blue tail trailing in the wind,
the orange helium balloon
escaping from the party
we were not invited to
in the garden below us.
Look now. See?
The tail’s still there.
The balloon is gone.