SAMUEL H. LUNT
BUTTER DISH LOVE
you call me a strange
high pitch to your voice
you have a present
for me can you come over at ten late for you
the buzzer rings
you come up with something
square wrapped in tissue not very well
I make you Red Zinger
you sit down on the couch blushing and fidgeting I open it up this great French butter dish of thick ribbed glass but why are you giving it to me
but of course even then I know
it's so several months later you can say honey do me a favor will you get the butter out of the fridge?
The agronomists have
selected a few choice specimens of the fidelity onion to study in a controlled
situation. The trouble is, in the lab, the fidelity onion is not faithful
to the technicians. It is faithful to itself, it does
not like the eyes of all those scientists peering in, will not undress, will not peel down to the hard, fidelity core, will not reveal how loyal it is. It consorts with petri dishes, it takes root in the walk-in refrigerator, it looks into the microscopes. But out in the field, when no one was looking? Oh, then the onion took off all her coats, lay down in the hot sun, and was true true true to you.
loiter in straw
in red dresses
sit atop the
of the stars
(or, at our table:
freeze into rubies
be dipped into the
diamonds of milled
hot as the night
DANTE'S BEATRICE IN BOSTON'S NORTH END
It's dark Beatrice swaying
on the Green Line,
a Filene's shopping bag looped over her wrist.
She wears red shoes. She's snapping gum.
She ascends the escalator into Haymarket,
heels cantabile against the cobbles.
She stops on Salem to speak to an old man.
Behind her in the butcher's hand dangle
pink lambs' heads, teeth bared.
She buys oregano at Polcari's. I watch
at the door, turn to buy garlic and she's gone.
I lose her on Prince in a maze of eggplants
and artichokes, go home to Cambridge to
cook up a sauce of grief, as if food were
slang for love, and this meal the
beginning of a national literature.
Love, you hide in my
breast like... Oh!
I remember when I first saw you, I shouted,
said, Look out that window! But I didn't
know you were the window just then.
Didn't know I'd already soared through it.
When we sit in the kitchen at night together,
I can tell you the exact moment when I think
if I never live another minute it won't matter,
I feel such joy. Tonight it was when you stood up
and, folding your napkin, said, Coffee, Love?