Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Sacrifice

I wrote this about cooking lamb today before I fully understood the assignment. I thought I'd share anyway, although it's very 'poeticized' and I'll probably redo the assignment again correctly. I won't be able to make it to next class, so please any comments are welcome.


I wanted this to be a poem about loving you from afar like some god
but here you are on the sofa in sweats this Sunday
as I cook some real and hearty lamb and how real
it is that god is nowhere in this apartment except
for on the football field on the TV screen.
Since age eight I was a vegetarian, but by the time
I had met you, you had made me eat burnt bacon, then chicken
wings, and so now I associate all meats and strong flavors with the turbine
of your love and carnal knowledge of you.
I toss the meat in the bread crumbs, stick it in the oven.
When I am not well, when I am ill, I can't bear to eat.
I wanted to say how the stars of your distant kisses burn
and prickle like the gut of a million fire ants crawling over the lost
universes of my hands when I am away from you, in the hospital, I wanted
to call you my salt and pepper lover in which my earth turns, and sun
and say how you light the match of your jalapeno tongue whose only home is my tongue
upon our love as real as this meat, but I have to mention your belly, groaning,
and no bigger than a bottle of wine or two,
and mention your hands,
fitting methodically now to the size of a small B cup, and how
the dark shores of your chest
are only as large as the dead bodies of my nightmares
that I bury there each morning with the memories and the burdens.
My beloved you are not to me a sachet of myrrh
    resting between my breasts.
My beloved you are not to me a cluster of henna blossoms
    from the vineyards of En Gedi.
No husband. Maybe you are the strong garlic stuck on the skin of this Sunday lamb
that I tear, delicately, with my teeth
on the last few bites of the seventh rib of the rack
which you share, as always, in increasingly smaller bites
with me.
Youngest brother of three,
hungry turnip,
somewhere within you, a ship whistles and moans.
Somewhere in the distant past, how the lilies bowed down
to you again and again in the sweet Ohio wind, until
you came, at last, to lay down your face beside mine,
and rescue me.


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