Summer 2012

Table of Contents - Vol. VIII, No. 2


Poetry    Fiction    Translations    Reviews   

Julia Wendell



If I didn’t grab the leash
to coax her out,
she would sleep
until darkness wraps
its careworn robe
around our house.
Her dense oily fur against
tongue & groove,
the color of white
candle wax.
Her snoring so disruptive,
I nudge her to roll over
when I’m at my desk.

She is getting me used
to the idea
of life without her,
as if knowing whoever’s left
has the harder task.
Her bones whittled down
to one goal:
to sleep more and more
until she sleeps all the time,
and dying
won’t be much different
than life as she has come
to know it. Nights,

I climb the twenty odd steps
toward heaven,
then call to her
from my cozy berth.
She follows when she can,
one stiff limb at a time,
when she craves
to keep me company.


Too Much is Too Much

She cooked by feel
in a language known only to her.
If we loved it,
she added more of it:
garlic, chocolate, alcohol.

Six cloves became “tons,”
a quarter cup turned into sloppy
dollops from the bottle.
Too much was impossible.

We couldn’t hack the salad.
Might as well have eaten a garlic bulb whole.
The bourbon balls would pickle us,
the alolio was as earthy as earth.
Her Bloody spicy Marys made us gag.

We laughed about the lack of specificity
as she ground salt blizzards and handfuls
of crescent moons
into the wooden sides of the salad bowl.
We teased the drunken hard sauce,
the cheese-clotted soufflé,
pushing the over-spiced,
under-done food
around on our dinner plates,
following the dits & dots
of politeness and praise.

More is a slippery measure
of one at a time, not all at once.
Of scant, not heaping,
of suggestion, not rebuke.
Why didn’t I have the heart to tell her?


© Julia Wendell


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Poetry    Fiction    Translations    Reviews   

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