When I begged the empty table of my body to be fed/  by your empty table

how is it that I did not see the narrowness of the jaw/  that cannot sustain me


The breadth of the desert overflows its edges and mesas and its own hard water

and its mineral content and my thoughts that steal that fullness/  that cannot sustain me


It was easy for me to be struck by lighting since I thought it would be a lovely

picture show.  But you were blinding, that glimpse through the rent fabric/  that cannot sustain me


What if I had thought marriage was a merely human affair/  that cannot sustain me

What if the surfeit of common affection that sustains me/  that cannot sustain me


If what’s true isn’t, I am eating my heart out every day/  trying for a vision

of chance where the prophet trusts what she sees and you are no lie/  that cannot sustain me


If you are a lifetime of what impends my impatience then/  makes my chest a dark cave

like a lonely plate/   like licking the remnants of the bowl/   that cannot sustain me



slp is a poet, songwriter, musician, and educator living in Colorado, who can be found vaguely under-promoting her first studio album widow’s daughter, or hermette-ing with her Smith-Corona typewriter and her melancholia.  Her manuscripts and poems have been finalists for the Ahsahta Sawtooth Prize, the Ashahta Chapbook Prize, the Slope Chapbook Prize, the Gazing Grains Chapbook Prize, and the Better: Culture & Lit Poetry Contest.  You may find more of her work online in the Taggart tribute at Jacket2, Better: Literature & Culture, and in miniature from Gazing Grains.  She lived with a dog named Fred. 


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