all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

substitutes




















When I want to remember I am not alone,
apple cobbler.
When I want to act like a teenager, or a kindergartner,
throw fists against a pillow,
four double-chocolate Milanos.
When I want to know that God is listening,
Earl Grey with honey and cream.
When I want to forget the argument,
cucumber, sliced on the diagonal.
When I am ready to face the fear,
lemons.
When I want your teeth in my neck,
a ribeye steak.
When I am ready to say goodbye,
cast one last glance before the daisies fall,
Montefalco at the kitchen window.
When I want to swim the wide channel,
stay parallel to shore,
a fistful of grapes, a thick wedge of Manchego.
When I want silence,
a glass of Armagnac.
When I want noise,
two raspberry-peach Cosmopolitans.
When I am tired,
cold milk, cornflakes in the orange bowl.
When I am impatient,
tangerines.
When I want to make everything disappear,
climb back into the womb,
a trip to Mitchell’s for mint chip.
When I want the moon a little closer,
carrot-ginger soup, a dollop of sour cream,
an intimate pinch of chives.
When the light is too much to bear,
scrambled eggs, wheat toast, apricot preserves.
When I’ve had enough of the rollercoaster,
the ache of the climb, the precipitous pitch into the abyss,
ice water, grapefruit, multivitamins.
When I want to start over,
white rice and butter.
When I couldn’t be happier,
wild salmon, fresh ginger, radishes.
When I miss my mother,
broth, maple yoghurt, sautéed cauliflower, unsalted almonds.
When I miss my father,
Rainier cherries, roast potatoes, fried chicken,
a single square of dark chocolate.
When I miss myself,
tomatoes, mozzarella, basil,
drop after drop of olive oil.

4 comments:

flutter said...

delicious medication

Dale said...

:-) Yes. Yes.

barb jensen said...

Fantastic! Really wonderful.

Shoofly said...

This, I love.
It is all substitution.