It's just poetry, it won't bite

We Are the Universe

03.03.14 Posted in today's words by

Melissa Studdard is the author of My Yehidah, The Tiferet Talk Interviews, and the best-selling novel Six Weeks to Yehidah. Her books have received numerous awards, including the Forward National Literature Award, the International Book Award, January Magazine‘s best children’s books of the year, The Reader’s Favorite Award, and the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. Her poetry collection, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, is forthcoming from Saint Julian Press. Her short writings have appeared in dozens of journals and anthologies, and she currently serves as professor for Lone Star College System, a teaching artist for The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative, an editorial adviser for The Criterion, and host of Tiferet Talk radio. Visit her website.

We Are the Universe
By Melissa Studdard

Watching your mouth as you eat I think
perhaps an apple is the universe and your body
is an orchard full of trees. I’ve seen the way your leaves
cling to the ground in fall, and I noted then
that your voice sounded soft, like feathered, drifting things
coming finally to rest. Note:
I was the core in your pink flesh. You
were hungry birds
and foxes walking through the miles of me.
You climbed, dug your nails in my bark, yanked
something loose. Don’t tell me what it is.
Just keep it close.
Because I planted these rows
and rows of myself for you–
so I could lick the juice from your lips,
so I could remember
how round and hot
the promise of seed. If I could find
that orchard right now, I’d run all through the rows
of you. I’d stand in the center and twirl
until I got dizzy and fell. I’d climb high and shake
until the only thing left in you was longing,
and you’d write a poem for me. You’d say:
Your mouth is the universe. Your desire
is an orchard full of trees.


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