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Friday, November 30, 2012

8

"The Grind"

Three mini ciabattini for breakfast
where demand for persnickety bread
is small, hence its expense, hence my steadfast
recalculation of my overhead,

which soars, and as you might expect
the ciabattini stand in for my fantasy
of myself in a sea-limned prospect,
on a terrace, with a lemon tree...

Not: Assessed a fee for rent sent a day late.
Not: Fines accrued for a lost library book.
Better never lose track of the date.
Oversleep, and you’re on the hook.

It’s the margin for error: shrinking.
It’s life ground down to recurrence.
It’s fewer books read for the thinking
the hospital didn’t rebill the insurance;

the school misplaced the kids’ paperwork.
Here’s our sweet pup, a rescue
which we nonetheless paid for, and look:
he gets more grooming than I do.

When I turn my hand mill, I think of the dowager
who ground gems on ham for her guests;
the queen who ground out two cups of flour
on the pregnant abdomen of her husband’s mistress;

I think of a “great rock-eating bird”
grinding out a sandy beach,
the foam said to be particulate matter
of minute crustaceans, each

brilliantly spooning up Aphrodite
to Greek porticoes, and our potatoes,
and plain living which might be
shaken by infinitesimal tattoos.

—Poetry, September 2012

Ange Mlinko is the author of three books, "Shoulder Season" (Coffee House Press, 2010), "Starred Wire" (Coffee House Press, 2005), which was a National Poetry Series winner in 2004 and a finalist for the James Laughlin Award, and "Matinees" (Zoland Books, 1999).



8 Comments / Post A Comment

redheadedtwit

Love this and completely feel it- "It's the margin for error:shrinking."

carolinaclay

My head hurts..@y

sudden but inevitable betrayal

I like this a lot. Although it took me two reads to realize it rhymed...wooo Friday brain.

OhMyGoshYouGuys

Oh, this was delightful. I think I'll print it out and hang it somewhere.

honey cowl

Wow, goosebumps. I, too, didn't realize it rhymed until halfway through. Pretty sure that is the mark of an exceptional poet.

Canard

Oh, how wonderful.

D.@twitter

Loved it! Although I really wanted to get the story behind the queen making flour on a pregnant woman's stomach...but a google search turned up nothing. :/ Well, I guess you can't call a "Twilight" fanfic entitled "The King's Mistress" /nothing/....

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