by Rina Ferrarelli
A stain like wine on the fresh
Italian bread, and the small
wild cherries glazed,
shining like garnets. You pause,
allow their beauty to fill your eyes.
You count on the bread and jam
to be fragrant and sweet,
and a little bit tart,
but the marmellata you like so much
tastes sour this morning.
It's the same jar you've been dipping into
in a month of scattered days,
the one with the sepia label
of a Trappist monastery, rectangular
buildings making a square
around a courtyard, a setting
you know intimately--you played
in the cloisters of one like it--tall,
floor to arch windows
looking out on an inner garden:
formal arrangements, fixed,
pre-set boundaries. Predicable,
unlike the subtle change
you're experiencing today--a random
occurrence, perhaps, temporary,
too much or not enough of some
substance, a trace element even,
that's all it takes sometimes
to tip the balance.
Or it could just as well be
a timer that goes off inside,
releasing or withholding hormones,
enzymes, proteins, starting
or shutting off functions.
Of 300 buds on each papilla,
(your senses sharper than most),
how many are left? Even the coffee
bitter, despite sweetening.
You wonder what it is
and what it means within the body/
mind conundrum, and whether
you'll invent reasons
that have nothing to do with chemistry
because you can’t stand the void.
Last updated May 21, 2011