You Could

by Diana Goetsch

Diana Goetsch

I stood in the middle of my kitchen eating butter.
It was 11 a.m. on an overcast morning
I was wearing—well, let’s not worry about
what I was wearing. I don’t make a habit of this—
I’d never done it before. It wasn’t a whole stick,
though a good half inch. Popped it in
and let it melt into the flesh under my tongue,
the place where you’d insert nitro-glycerin,
if that’s what you needed. I won’t describe
the taste—you’ll have to try it for yourself.

Perhaps when you’re thinking about goals,
that would be a good time to let some
butter have a ride on your tongue,
or stick a thumb in a bowl of icing,
scarf a pie with no hands, like a wolf—
whatever pulls you in from, or shoves you out on the ledge
you might need to come in from, or go out on.
You don’t have to climb Mount Everest,
unless you find yourself in front of it
and can’t come away. Unless something’s
calling you to do something your friends
wouldn’t understand in a million years.

I don’t understand butter. I know it
comes from cows, who have given so much
for so long. But it’s a person I picture,
the first to try it. Others in the tribe
discarded the floating globules, but this one
opted to taste the world, the same world
that has us so worried and confused.
You could do it, and afterwards write it down:
Today was overcast. I put on a full slip, just because.
Oh and I ate butter—incredible!

Last updated November 30, 2022