Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

The Pearl

BY JANE HUFFMAN

And what of its dissolving?
What of that illusion? What of you?
 
I saw from my window your pluck,
your prune, that hearty discernment
 
between stem and stalk.
You arranged the flowers yourself.
 
I saw your earring marinating
on your bedside table.
 
That man, your spoils,
he too dilutable.
 
And what of the taste?
Two women stood in your kitchen
 
and fixed your goblet.
One says to the other,
 
“what do you suppose, the gold
or the silver?
 
I watched the other woman
arrange the succulents beside the lamb,
 
lure a ghost from the kettle
and draw the blinds
 
as if she were drawing closed
your gown.
 
She could see what I saw:
the summer’s last roses on your table,
 
you, in your dreariest silk,
no bauble, no bead, no bangle,
 
just dinner, roses, and your will
to die or to be loved so fully
 
that even I, child of no crown,
begin to hope.



Jane Huffman is a Michigan-based poet and playwright studying with Diane Seuss at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, MI, a small-ish town with a big-ish literary scene. She has recent work featured or forthcoming in Moon City Press Review, Arroyo Literary Review, RHINO Poetry and other journals.