1,292 Readings | 3 Ratings

Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast

 It’s too cold to smoke outside, but if you come over,
I’ll keep my hands to myself, or won’t I.
I would like to tell you about the wall eaten up

by the climbing plant—it was so beautiful.
Various things have been happening to me,
all of them sexual. The man on the bus

took off his pants so I could see him better.
Another man said, “Ignore him darlin’,
just sit on my lap.” But I’m not one of those

who’s hungriest in the morning,
unlike the man at the bakery
who eats egg after egg after egg.

Listen. Come over: the cold has already eaten
the summer. I need another pair of ears:
from the kitchen I can’t tell if I’m hearing wind-chimes

or some gray woman with failing arms
dropping a pan full of onions and potatoes.
                                        This morning I need four hands—

two to wash the greens, one to lift a teakettle,
one to pour the milk. This morning, one little mouth
will not do. We could play a game

where we crouch on the tiles, two yellow dogs
drinking coffee from bowls. We could play a game
where we let the breakfast burn.

Outside there’s a world where every love-scene
begins with a man in a doorway;
he walks over to the woman and says “Open your mouth.”
Posted 06/14/11
Thanks to the editors of Ecotone (the first to print this poem).
Books by Hannah Gamble
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